Speaking during the parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) report analysis at Mika Hotel in Lusaka, Wednesday, CSPR Resource Coordinator Chimuka Nachibinga suggested that the performance clearance certificates given to controlling officers would ensure that they were not leaving audit queries in government institutions or departments they had been working in.
“As CSPR, we strongly feel Parliament should come up with performance clearance certificates for all controlling officers before they can be transferred. This would ensure that they are not leaving audit queries in the institution they have been. The controlling officers should be compelled to give reports of the previous audit queries before the current queries can be answered to during PAC hearing. This also could help in keeping tabs on the Executive from an informed
position, thereby enhancing accountability,” Nachibinga said.
He expressed sadness that the recommendations made by PAC to the line Ministries had been an academic exercise because no information or feedback was given on the affected controlling officers in the line Ministries.
“We have seen PAC making recommendations to the affected line Ministries, but we have not gotten the information or rather the feedback from the affected controlling officers in the line Ministries. Our question perhaps should be: what happens once PAC makes such recommendations? PAC should give a period in which all the controlling officers for the affected line Ministries should provide progressive reports on the recommendations made by PAC,” added Nachibinga.
And CSPR acting executive director Juliet Ilunga said the organization was concerned that major ministries such as education, health and agriculture had been heavily affected in terms of misapplication and misappropriation of public resources.
“We are concerned that every year, when the Auditor General’s Report is out, we see major ministries such as education, health and agriculture being heavily affected when it comes to misapplication and misappropriation of resources. This is our worry because as an organization that speaks for the people in line with poverty issues, most children are unable to access good education, good health facilities because resources meant for these ministries are being stolen. The trend has to change,” said Ilunga.
The analysis report on PAC highlighted the irregularities cited in the Auditor’s General’s annual reports, which included the education, health and the agriculture sectors.