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MPs criticise inertia on Auditor General’s report
28 June 2011 Tuesday 08:30 AM Views: 1985 times
Auditor General Anna Chifungula (l) with Norwegian state secretary for development and cooperation Ingrid Fiska.

Members of Parliament have criticised the government’s sluggishness in acting on the Auditor General's annual report.

Contributing to debates on the report by the Public Accounts Committee of the Auditor General of 2009 on Wednesday, Roan member of parliament Chishimba Kambwili said there was an element of negligence by the government on its failure to act against offences and erring officers cited in the report every year.

“It is sad, even ministers themselves fail to retire imprest,” Kambwili said.

He said the only way the government could minimise on audit queries was to employ professional controlling officers in the ministries as opposed to political party cadres.

Kambwili said currently, some ministers were scared to confront controlling officers for fear of losing their jobs as they were appointed by the President.

“We need to take our jobs seriously. Even the Office of the Vice-President has audit queries,” he said.

Kambwili called on the government leaders to lead by example if they were to inculcate a sense of prudent management of resources in the civil service.

Kambwili said the government must fire envoys that mismanaged the country’s resources.

And Luena member of Parliament Charles Milupi said it was saddening that imprest was now being used like ‘grants’ in the civil service.

Milupi, who is also president of the Alliance for Democracy and Development (ADD), said the country’s budget had stagnated for sometime because of the mismanagement of national resources.

“It calls for great worry the way we utilise resources in this country. Every year we debate in this House, these issues come up,” Milupi said.

“Those people on your right, madam speaker (Executive), have failed this country in as far as accountability is concerned.”

He urged the government to emulate Tanzania whose President, Jakaya Kikwete, called Cabinet ministers and people involved in the management of resources to explain issues raised by the Auditor General’s report.

Public Accounts Committee chairperson Emmanuel Hachipuka said most controlling officers did not appreciate the accounting procedures.

Hachipuka, who is also Mbabala member of Parliament, urged the government to take action on the issues raised by the Auditor General’s Office.

The Auditor General’s report has continued to highlight glaring financial irregularities from government spending agencies, although little or no action is seen from the government to solve the problem.

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