THE Auditor General’s Report on accounts of the Republic for the financial year ended December 31, 2020 has revealed that out of the 616,464 Social Cash Transfer beneficiaries, 251,478 were not paid their full entitlements totalling K86,151,000, despite the funds being available.
And the report has disclosed that although the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services was underfunded, as at December 31, 2020, amounts totalling K729,694,008 had been spent leaving a balance of K130,905,395.
The report revealed that as at July 31, 2021, no satisfactory explanation was provided in respect of the failure to fully disburse the funds.
“The beneficiaries were in two categories namely; the vulnerable and the disabled who received K180 or K360 per payment cycle respectively. In this regard, the beneficiaries were entitled to social cash payments every two months to assist in poverty alleviation During the year under review, the Ministry had a total of 616,464 (able bodies – 554,753 and disabled – 61,711) Social Cash Transfer beneficiaries. In the Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure for the financial year ended 31st December 2020, a total provision of K1,601,833,065 was made to cater for implementation of Social Cash Transfer Programmes against which amounts totalling K849,641,252 were released resulting in an underfunding of K752,191,813. In addition, a balance of K10,958,151 was brought forward from 2019 bringing the total available funds to K860,599,403,” the report read.
“Although the Ministry was underfunded, as at 31st December 2020 amounts totalling K729,694,008 had been spent leaving a balance of K130,905,395 (GRZ – K11,250,763 and Donors – K119,654,632). As at 31st July 2021, no satisfactory explanation was provided in respect of the failure to fully disburse the funds. During the year under review, out of the 616,464 beneficiaries 251,478 were not paid their full entitlements in amounts totalling K86,151,000 as the Ministry did not disburse the funds despite the funds being available.”
The report stated that three beneficiaries in Mazabuka entitled to be paid amounts totalling K3,960 were instead paid K7,920 due to duplication of names and NRCs.
“Section 188.8.131.52 of the Social Cash Transfer Implementation Guideline requires that if a beneficiary shares the same National Registration Card (NRC) numbers with another beneficiary, such a matter should be reported to the DSWO for verification to identify legitimate beneficiaries and remove those that are not eligible for the programme,” the report read.
“Further, such names of beneficiaries who are ineligible should be submitted to the Ministry Headquarters for archiving. Contrary to the guideline, three (3) beneficiaries who were entitled to be paid amounts totalling K3,960 were instead paid K7,920 due to duplication of names and National Registration Card (NRC) numbers, resulting in an overpayment of K3,960. As at 31st August 2021, the anomalies had not been corrected.
The report also disclosed that amounts totalling K20,160 were paid to 54 beneficiaries who did not have NRCs of either the beneficiary or their deputies.
“Section B of Chapter 3 of the Social Cash Transfer guidelines requires that when a household member does not possess an NRC, he/she should have a sworn affidavit as long as their deputy recipient has the NRC in order to be eligible for SCT programme. Contrary to the guidelines, amounts totalling K20,160 were paid to 54 beneficiaries who did not have NRCs of either the beneficiary or their deputies,” the report stated.
“In addition, amounts totalling K42,240 were paid to 17 beneficiaries in Choma District whose NRCs were not valid as they did not exist in the National Registration System. As at 31st August 2021, no action had been taken to rectify the anomaly.”
The report disclosed that amounts totalling K102,060 were drawn by two officers at Nsama District Social Welfare Office but the purpose of the funds drawn was not known
“During the period under review, amounts totalling K102,060 were drawn by two officers at Nsama District Social Welfare Office. However, the purpose of the funds drawn was not known in that there were no payment vouchers and the withdrawals were not recorded in the cash book. As at 31st July 2021, the funds had not been accounted for. Financial Regulation No. 96 (1) requires that special and accountable imprest should be retired immediately the purpose for which they are issued has been fulfilled. Contrary to the regulation, accountable imprest in amounts totalling K24,484 issued to ten (10) officers for payment of subsistence allowance and fuel had not been retired as at 31st July 2021. As at 31st August 2021, no recoveries had been effected from the officers,” the report stated.
“Financial Regulations No. 45(2) and 52(1) require that all payments by cheque or cash for goods, services and works should be supported by cash sale receipts, official orders and suppliers’ invoice. Contrary to the regulations, payments in amounts totalling K1,101,052 processed at seven stations were not supported with appropriate documentation.”
The report revealed that as at July 31, 2021, goods costing K741,779 had not been distributed to the intended beneficiaries and were kept at the Ministry stores.
“An examination of stores and other records maintained by the Ministry revealed that between August and November 2020, the Ministry procured goods costing K933,779 comprising batteries, face masks, hand sanitizer and liquid soap to be distributed to the districts. However, as at 31st July 2021, eight (8) months after delivery by the supplier, goods costing K741,779 had not been distributed to the intended beneficiaries and were kept at the Ministry stores,” the report stated.
“Public Stores Regulation No. 16 requires that every store’s officer or any other officer having in his charge any public stores or other articles of public property must keep and maintain record of the receipt and issue of such public stores. Contrary to the regulation, stores items costing K157,921 procured at six stations were not accounted for in that there were no receipt and disposal details. As at 31st August 2021, the procured stores were unaccounted for.”