29 November 2018

Zambia: High Financial Flaws Irk Msiska

Secretary to the Cabinet Roland Msiska is disappointed with the high number of financial irregularities in the public service.

Dr Msiska has since threatened public officers mismanaging public resources as revealed in the 2017 Auditor General's Report with more dismissals.

He said public finance directors had the responsibility to ensure audit queries were attended to during preliminary stages and ensure corrective measures were implemented way before the queries were escalated to annual audit paragraphs.

He said this in a speech read for him by Permanent Secretary, Management Development Division Ndashe Yumba at the induction workshop for directors of finance in ministries and provinces yesterday.

"My office will not hesitate to dismiss you or any office holder who will be found to have contributed to these audit irregularities, you may refer to the disciplinary code and procedures for handling offences in the public service Act No. 21 (A) (V) which refers to discharge or summary dismissal as it relates to misappropriation of funds or fraud," Dr Msiska said.

He said it was Government's expectation that directors of finance would be magnanimous enough to introduce internal control systems within their area of responsibility aimed at curbing financial irregularities and consequently sealing off leakages of public financial resources.

Dr Msiska said whoever would be found wanting would be dealt with in accordance with the prevailing laws of Zambia.

He said Government expected improved accountability and transparency in the management of public resources in order to attain the vision 2030.

Dr Msiska said vision 2030 would be a pipe dream if the performance of the newly appointed directors of finance in the ministries and provinces was poor and fail to discipline officers found wanting of financial irregularities as was expected of them.

Accountant General Dick Sichembe warned accountants in the public sector of stern action against anyone found wanting saying such a person would either be disciplined or dismissed and sent to jail.

Dr Sichembe encouraged new directors of finance to study and understand the Public Finance Act No. 1 of 2018 which was aimed at punishing would-be offenders.

"Accept responsibility for your actions, be accountable and take ownership of your mistakes, you have been warned, do not say you were not warned," he said.


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