The latest Auditor General’s Report has revealed that ZESCO Limited has failed to pay the Energy Regulation Board (ERB) K186, 398,168 which it owes in license fees.
And the Auditor General has reported that Ministry of Justice workers caused a loss of public funds in amounts totalling K11,448,709, through negligence.
The Auditor disclosed the amount owed to ERB had increased from K54,078,218 in 2016 to K107,330,758 in 2017.
“In Paragraph 15 of the Auditor General’s report on the audit of accounts for the financial year ended 31st December 2016, mention was made of the outstanding ERB License fees owed by Oil Marketing Companies and Zesco Ltd. In their Report for the First Session of the Twelfth National Assembly the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) expressed regret that despite the previous Committee censuring the Controlling Officer on the need for Zesco Ltd to offset the arrears owed to ERB, this had not happened. On the contrary, the situation had worsened in that the amount had increased from K54,078,218 in 2016 to K107,330,758 in 2017,” the Auditor General reported.
“A review of the situation in May 2019 revealed that the outstanding amount in respect of license fees owed by Zesco Ltd increased from K107,330,758 in 2017 to K155,955,570 in 2018. In addition, the total amount owed by three (3) institutions comprising two (2) Oil Marketing Companies and Zesco Ltd was K156,983,292 of which 99% was owed by Zesco Ltd. As at 31st August 2019, the outstanding amount in respect of Zesco Ltd had accumulated to K186,398,168.”
And the Report has disclosed that the Ministry of Justice failed to recover funds from officers who caused loss to the government by acting negligently when executing their duties.
“In paragraph 31 (b) of the Auditor General’s Report on the accounts of the Republic for the financial year ended 31st December 2017 mention was made of loss of public funds through negligence by public workers in which amounts totalling K11,448,709 in respect of fifty nine (59) cases were paid by the Ministry for cases where officers neglected, omitted or failed to follow procedures in their duty. The Controlling Officer submitted that the Ministry of Justice had been in communication with the Secretary to the Cabinet and Public Service Management Division (PSMD), with the aim of recovering funds from officers who caused loss to the Government by acting negligently, or failing to follow Government procedures when executing their duties,” the Auditor General revealed.
“A review of records revealed that a total amount of K535,000 in respect of four (4) cases was paid by the Ministry for cases where officers neglected, omitted or failed to follow procedures in their duty. However, contrary to Section 52 of the Public Finance Management Act which requires that officers who cause liability to the government through neglect, omission or failure to follow procedures in their duty should be held liable for the loss and damage, there was no evidence that sanctions were applied to the erring officers,”
Meanwhile, the Report narrated how money meant for payment of compensations and awards were spent on fuel and other activities not approved by Parliament.
“Contrary to the Appropriation Act of 2017, amounts totalling K156,338 meant for payment of compensations and awards were spent on activities such as subsistence allowances, fuel and conference facilities among others not related to the purpose for which the funds were appropriated for by Parliament.” revealed the Auditor General.