Ministries ignore AG recommendations
Farirai Machivenyika Senior Reporter
Government ministries and other public bodies have largely ignored recommendations by the Auditor General Mrs Mildred Chiri in her reports aimed at improving efficient use of resources to curb corruption, a policy dialogue on the AG 2019 audit report heard yesterday.
The dialogue was organised by the Southern Africa Parliament Support Trust and was attended by journalists, chairpersons of parliament’s Budget, Finance and Economic Development and Public Accounts Committees, Dr Matthew Nyashanu and Mr Brian Dube, respectively, and Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission’s Commissioner Ms Thandiwe Mlobane.
In her presentation, Ms Eustinah Tarisayi from the Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development said the AG’s 2019 report showed that out of 356 recommendations made in 2018 only 94 (26 percent) were implemented while 88 (25 percent) were partly implemented and 174 (49 percent) were not implemented.
In 2017, the AG made 435 recommendations and of those, 108 (25 percent) were fully implemented, 85 (19 percent) were partially implemented and 242 (26 percent) were not implemented at all.
She said the failure to implement recommendations was worrisome and undermined the AG’s efforts to improve service delivery.
Another worrying trend noted during the dialogue was Treasury’s incurrence of unauthorised expenditure, diversion of resources by some ministries, payment for non-delivered goods and services and poor record keeping, among others.
Commissioner Mlobane said ZACC has since directed regulatory authorities to ensure that internal audit departments within organisations under their purview, produce reports on how they intended to implement the recommendations.
She also said ZACC was capacitating internal audit units in various entities on need to carry out due diligence during procurement and recruitment of personnel and establishment of integrity committees.
Dr Nyashanu hailed the ongoing amendment of the Public Finance Management Act saying Zimbabwe should continuously strengthen its legal framework to fight the scourge of corruption.
Mr Dube said the AG’s office should also be allowed to refer urgent matters that require investigations directly to the police, ZACC or the National Prosecuting Authority without waiting for the tabling of reports in parliament as is presently the case.