The Comptroller and Auditor-General has appointed KPMG Chartered Accountants (Zimbabwe) to conduct a forensic and turnaround audit of the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation.
The firm is expected to submit a comprehensive audit report to the Auditor-General by the end of next month.
The report is expected to highlight findings, recommend corrective action and make recommendations geared towards better financial management, accountability and corporate governance.
"The Ministry of Information, Media and Broadcasting Services is pleased to advise that the tender process for selecting an independent audit firm by the Auditor-General to carry out a forensic and turnaround audit at the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation has been completed," said the ministry's principal director Mr Regis Chikowore in a statement yesterday.
"The tender has been won by KPMG Chartered Accountants (Zimbabwe) who are expected to now move with speed to commence the much-awaited auditing exercise."
Eight audit firms placed bids to conduct the forensic audit covering the period January 1, 2009 to December 31, 2013.
This followed a request by the Ministry of Information, Media and Broadcasting Services to the Comptroller and Auditor-General to undertake an urgent forensic audit at the corporation.
The closing date for the tender was February 7.
The firms that bid included KPMG, PriceWaterHouse Coopers, Jack and Fields, Ernst & Young, BDO, Welsa International, Camelsa and Deloitte.
Two other companies, Ruzengwe and RKF, were disqualified for submitting late bids.
According to terms of reference for the audit, KPMG would be expected to determine ZBC's adherence to and fulfilment of principles of corporate governance in all aspects, including its interpretation of its mission, adherence to legal or statutory and policy instruments and good practices. The audit firm would also assess and test systems and detect any instances of corporate malfeasances and inefficiency for both remedial interventions and systems realignment.
It would determine the authenticity and validity of barter trade transactions that ZBC entered with some of its suppliers and customers and measure the extent of potential prejudice the corporation may have suffered through such dealings, if any.
The terms of reference also include quantifying the magnitude of ZBC's current obligations and likely restructuring costs for the attention of the shareholder.
KPGM would be expected to carry out a comprehensive financial systems audit which should look at all systems, decisions and practices which have underpinned ZBC finances for the past five years and test and assess financial discipline at all levels.
The firm would also explain why ZBC's finances have failed or collapsed.
"The exercise should look at all areas including budgeting, financing, expenditure, management of revenue inflows, trade terms, procurement or purchase decisions and supply chain management," reads the terms of reference.
The audit would look at ZBC's assets management system including its fixed assets, their disposal, management and/or deployment.
"Specifically, the audit should look at ZBC's marketing, production and commissioning policies, systems and agreements to determine their integrity, efficacy and responsiveness. Equally, the audit should look at ZBC's archiving policy both by way of records keeping and as a performing asset that yields revenue for the corporation," further reads the terms of reference.
The auditors are expected to conduct a human resources audit which should include key issues like manpower policy and needs determination, selection and recruitment regarding philosophy, grading and departmentalisation, payroll system and management, performance culture and whole policy on advancement and promotions, labour issues, skills development and deployment.
The auditors would also look at current incentives, their access and distribution and what impact they have on skills attraction and retention on staff motivation, performance and commitment.
The audit would also recommend a business model, development and innovativeness which should help a restructuring exercise by gauging ZBC's capacity to align itself with and keep adjusting to the larger macro-environment through periodic strategic interventions.
The auditors are expected to determine the planning culture in high-tech, the technological or infrastructural culture (culture of innovativeness at the corporation).
"Equally, it should be able to determine ZBC's manpower and skills development policies, equip its key functional areas with strategic competences needed for migration to a digital era and beyond," reads the terms of reference.
"Additionally, the audit should gauge ZBC's readiness to do business in a plural broadcast environment characterised by stiff competition locally, regionally and globally and the removal of statutory sources of revenue.
"The key question of product development and pricing will come into focus, as also does the issue of strategic partnerships regionally and globally."