Zambia: MOE Paid Over KR46 Million

MORE than 360 payments amounting to about KR46 million (K46 billion) were made at the Ministry of Education without vouchers and other support documents, the 2011 Auditor General's report has revealed.

Payment vouchers either went missing or did not have support documents such as acquittal sheets, invoices or receipts.

The report says authorised provision of KR1.3 billion (K1.3 trillion) was made for various activities against which amounts totalling KR1.2 billion (K1.2trillion) was released.

According to the report, the ministry procured accommodation and conference facilities from various lodges at over KR1 million (K1 billion) without obtaining authority from the Secretary to Cabinet.

Cabinet Office Circular No. 7 of 2006 requires controlling officers to seek prior authority before holding seminars, workshops and conferences outside Government meeting facilities.

On unretired imprest, contrary to Financial Regulation No.96, imprest amounting to KR6.3 million (K6.3 billion) issued to various offices during the period under review had not been retired as of November 2012.

"Contrary to Public Stores Regulation No. 16, there were no receipt and disposal details in respect of various stores items costing K565, 931,577 procured during the period under review," the report said.

On poor maintenance of fuel records, the report revealed that the ministry paid a total of KR1 million (K1 billion) to four filling stations for the procurement of fuel.

It was observed that the ministry did not maintain fuel registers and never carried out monthly reconciliations of fuel paid for, against fuel drawn.

In December 2011, the ministry paid the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) KR29.7 million (K29.7 billion) for purchase of 35,000 tonnes of maize but as at November 2012, the maize had not been collected , nine months after the payment was made.

On the ministry of Defence, the report said over KR298 million (K298 billion) was made to cater for various activities against KR303 million (K303 billion) released resulting into overfunding.

Meanwhile, Transparency International Zambia (TIZ) has urged Government to take a proactive role by ensuring that appropriate action was taken against officers misappropriating public funds.

TIZ president Lee Habasonda said in an interview yesterday that the Government should put in place stiffer measures to ensure that abuse of public funds in all institution was

curtailed.

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