GOVERNMENT, in collaboration with the European Union, has launched a Twinning Project meant to provide support to the Office of the Auditor General.
The project would see about €2 million of capacity and technical support provided to the Auditor General.
In a speech read on his behalf by Secretary to the Treasury Felix Nkulukusa during the launch of the project, Tuesday, Dr Situmbeko Musokotwane said the project would contribute to sustainable and inclusive economic growth through increased mobilisation and effective use of domestic resources.
“The project we are launching today, forms part of the ‘effectiveness and transparency in the management of public resources (effect) programme’, whose overall objective is to contribute to the sustainable and inclusive economic growth through increased mobilisation and effective use of domestic resources. This is a €456 million programme, providing capacity building support to the following: Office of the Auditor General; National Assembly of Zambia; Anti Corruption Commission; Zambia Revenue Authority; strengthening of planning and budgeting systems under the Ministry of Finance and National Planning,” he said.
“The EU-OAG Twinning project is unique in that, together with the EU-ACC Twinning Project, are the first Twinning projects to be implemented outside the European Union Neighborhood. There is therefore high optimism that the two projects will be implemented successfully and that more twinning projects would be initiated and implemented in Zambia, to the benefit of our people. In this regard, I wish to thank the European Union for making Zambia a pioneer on this front.”
He said the overall objective of the project was to strengthen the capacity of the office of the Auditor General as a Supreme Audit Institution, which would lead to improved service delivery to citizens.
“The overall objective of the OAG Twinning Project is to strengthen the capacity of the office of the Auditor General, as a Supreme Audit Institution (SAI) of Zambia, thereby enhancing accountability, transparency and effective management of public resources in the country. The EU support under this project consists of technical support rendered through capacity building, provided through training and knowledge sharing between the EU member states attached to the project and the Office of the Auditor General,” said Dr Musokotane.
“The expected impact of audits includes improved service delivery to the citizens, strengthened procurement processes and improved budgeting processes among others. This is important to the national development process, as this could lead to optimum utilization of public resources and avoidance of waste and mismanagement of public resources. However, for the project to be successful, it will require commitment from both the EU experts and the office of the Auditor General. I therefore wish to urge both parties to commit themselves to ensuring that the project objectives are achieved in an efficient and effective manner.”
And Auditor General Dr Dick Sichembe said the project was meant to improve the management and technical capacity of his office.
“The project we are launching today is supported by the European Union under the programme titled ‘support to effectiveness and transparency in management of public resources’. There are three EU member states that will be providing technical support to my office namely Austria, Croatia and Finland. The overall objective of the project is to provide technical support to my office as a supreme audit institution of Zambia in order to strengthen support, thereby enhancing the accountability, transparency and effective management of public resources in Zambia,” he said.
“The specific objective of the project is to improve the management and technical capacity of the office of the Auditor General to plan and undertake audits as prescribed by the law and in line with international standards and best practices. As an oversight institution mandated to audit the management of public resources, this project will help in enhancing the effectiveness and efficiency of our audits. The office has an important role in promoting good governance and in making a difference in the lives of citizens through creating a positive impact on society.”
He said with increased and enhanced capacity, his office would continue to bring to account those charged with responsibility of managing resources.
“As the office with increased and enhanced capacity, we shall ensure that we continue to bring to account all those that are charged with the responsibility of managing the public resources on behalf of the Zambian citizens. Our desire, motivation and thrust for the work we do, through audits, is that we have a corrupt free society that will direct the resources to the needy areas and help our people from poverty, disease and hunger,” said Dr Sichembe.