THE Auditor General’s Report on the audits of accounts of local authorities for the financial year 2018 and 2019 has revealed that nine markets in Kitwe were not under the control of the local council.
And the Report revealed that the Kitwe council lost K124,525 in revenue due to failure to rehabilitate five shops belonging to the Council.
“Section 5 (1) of the Markets and Bus Stations Act No 7 of 2007 stipulates that all markets and bus stations should be under the control of a local authority having jurisdiction in the area in which they are situated. Contrary to the Act, nine markets were not under the control of the Council. During the period under review, the Council owned five shops which were to be rented out to members of the public and rentals in amounts totalling K124,525 should have been collected. However, due to the failure by the Council to rehabilitate the shops, they were vacant throughout the year leading to loss of revenue,” the Report stated.
The Report stated that 268 payments in amounts totalling K5,001,283 which made during the period under review were not supported by necessary documentation.
“During the period under review, the Council paid amounts totalling K517,699; terminal benefits K476,066, long service bonuses K25,733 and gratuity – K15,900 to 20 officers. However, the payments were questionable in that they did not have supporting documentation such as contracts, letters of appointment or termination, payslips and account ledgers. According to Cabinet Office Circular Minute dated 30th December 2015, subsistence and meal allowances were not to be paid for activities undertaken within the district boundary. Contrary to the Circular, amounts totalling K241,895 were paid to several officers as subsistence and meal allowances for activities carried out within the district boundary,” the Report stated.
“Terms and Conditions of Service for Local Government Officers No 105 (d) requires that an advance of salary shall be repaid within a reasonable period of time but not exceeding six months. Contrary to the terms and conditions of service, salary advances in amounts totalling K264,758 paid to 21 officers during the period under review had not been recovered as at 31st October 2020. Local Authorities Financial Regulation No. 98 (1) states, ‘all payment vouchers with supporting documents, and any other forms which support a charge entered into the accounts, shall be carefully filed, secured and be readily available for audit’. Contrary to the regulation, 268 payments in amounts totalling K5,001,283 made during the period under review were not supported with documentation such as receipts, quotations, invoices and letters of termination or appointment and authority. In addition, 10 payment vouchers in amounts totalling K117,449 made during the period under review were not availed for audit.”
The Report also revealed that fuel in amounts totalling K22,201 was drawn by three non-runner motor vehicles.
“The Local Authorities Financial Regulation No 106 (2) states, ‘where the employee does not claim the wages, the cash shall be brought to account and a general receipt shall be issued, crediting the unpaid wages to the expenditure vote from which the wages were drawn’. Accountable imprest in amounts totalling K152,313 was issued to 19 officers between 5th January and 20th December 2018 to facilitate the payment of wages. However, the funds were neither acquitted by the intended beneficiaries nor was cash found on hand,” the Report stated.
“Local Authorities Financial Regulation No 145 states, ‘a Treasurer shall keep proper records of receipts and issue of stocks and stores’. Contrary to the regulation, various stores items costing K470,401 procured during the period under review were unaccounted for in that there were no receipt and disposal details. In addition, the Council did not maintain fuel registers nor reconciled records for fuel costing K5,890,883. It was therefore, not possible to ascertain the completeness and reliability of information on fuel expenditure. A review of fuel statements and other transport records for the Council revealed that fuel in amounts totalling K22,201 was drawn by three non-runner motor vehicles.In addition, fuel in amounts totalling K12,895 was drawn by motor vehicles whose details were not recorded.”
The Report further revealed that the Council owed former and existing employees amounts totalling K11,510,277 in respect of terminal benefits, long service bonus and gratuity.
” As at 31st December 2019, the Council owed the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) and Local Authorities Superannuation Fund (LASF) amounts totalling K39,399,483 in respect of tax and pension contributions. As at 31st December 2019, the Council owed former and existing employees amounts totalling K11,510,277 in respect of terminal benefits, long service bonus and gratuity,” stated the Report.