By Anna Chibamu
STATE Enterprises, parastatals and Local authorities are ignoring the Auditor General’s (AG) recommendations on how to plug in several financial irregularities which would have been picked up during the annual audit audits.
During a virtual workshop to deliberate on the 2019 AG report organised by Southern African Parliamentary Support Trust (SAPST) in conjuction with USAID and ZIMCODD on Wednesday, it emerged that most government entities had in the past made no effort to take up recommendations proffered by the AG, Mildred Chiri.
According to ZIMCODD official Eustina Tarisayi, the low uptake of these findings and recommendations by the entities meant that there was little or nothing being done to improve on public finance management by the government departments.
“The 2019 AG audit report reveals that out of the 356 recommendations made by Chiri in 2018, only 94 (26%) were fully implemented whilst 88 (25%) were partly implemented and 174 (49%) were not implemented at all,” Tarisayi said.
In 2017, Chiri made 435 recommendations but only 108 were implemented, representing just 25%. 85 of the 435 (19%) were partially implemented as 242 (56%), more than half of the total, were not implemented at all.
Tarisayi told Committee chairpersons for Public Accounts (Brian Dube) and Budget and Finance (Mathew Nyashanu) as well as journalists that the failure by government entities to implement the recommendations by the Auditor General were a sign of will power to be accountable regarding public finance management.
“This illustrates the lack of political will and commitment to implement the AG’s recommendations,” she said.
The AG’s 2019 audit report also revealed that unauthorised expenditure arose from unallocated reserve transfers made to the ministries that exceeded the approved budget thereby violating the Constitution.
“The failure by treasury to adhere to the legal provisions on the sanctioning if excess expenditure by Parliament substantiates the lack of political will to deal with challenges of poor corporate governance,” Tarisayi highlighted.
The AG’s 2019 audit report was delayed for a year due to Covid-19 and other constraints