3 April 2019

Zimbabwe: Govt Enhances Accountability

Photo: Arthur Chatora
Harare CBD.

Government is moving to enhance accountability within its systems by moving from cash accounting to accrual accounting based on the International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS).

IPSAS are a set of accounting standards issued by the IPSAS Board for use by public sector entities around the world in the preparation of financial statements.

And consistent with global trends, the Government made its commitment in the 2018 National Budget to migrate to accrual accounting based on IPSAS.

The Government has officially adopted the national IPSAS implementation strategy, which is the roadmap that will be used in the transition to the accrual IPSAS-based reporting framework

Said Secretary for Finance and Economic Development George Guvamatanga: "As a Government our decisions will be better informed; transparency and accountability will be enhanced leading to increased trust in us as Government. We are fully committed in supporting the migration process in every way possible, so that the implantation strategy plan is implemented fully.

"The public sector is key in the economic reform agenda and therefore I cannot understate the need to ensure that the migration is a success."

Mr Guvamatanga was speaking at the third Zimbabwe IPSAS Working Group (ZIWG), a forum to discuss issues around the practical implementation of IPSAS.

The national Implementation Strategy Plan (ISP) for the implementation of IPSAS will be launched today.

Accountant General Daniel Muchemwa said Government is aiming to complete implementation of the IPSAS by 2025.

"In terms of the Implementation Strategy Plan, the target is to implement IPSAS for the whole of Government by 2025. And when I say the whole of Government I mean Central Government, State entities that are fully funded by Government and local authorities," he said.

According to the Accountant General, three Ministries (namely Finance and Economic Development; Local Government, Public Works and National Housing, and Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services) have been identified for pilot projects.

Two commissions, two parastatals and eight local authorities have also been identified for pilot projects.

Government has since set aside RTGS$700 000 for the initial phases of the IPSAS implementation from the 2018 National Budget, while the World Bank has allocated US$300 000. The IPSAS Board's strategic objective is to strengthen public financial management globally through increasing adoption of accrual-based IPSAS.

The Board develops and maintains IPSAS and other high-quality financial reporting guidance for the public sector. IPSAS Board executive chairman Ian Carruthers said his organization is supportive of Zimbabwe's reform process.

"As IPSASB we are fully behind the reforms that you are doing here. Compared with cash accounting, accrual accounting provides complete financial overview of an entity, reliable basis for decision-making and improved public expenditure," he said.

The IPSAS programme started in 1997 and by the end of last year, 37 governments had implemented the public sector reporting standard.

Mr Carruthers said the Board expects that within the next five years at least 65 percent of Governments will be on IPSAS.

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