Business and Technology

Auditor General: 67 Local Authorities Cited For Financial Irregularities

Auditor General DICK SICHEMBE says 67 local authorities out of the 116 councils audited have recorded an increase in irregularities from 2 billion kwacha in 2019 to 3 billion kwacha in 2020.

Dr SICHEMBE says the financial irregularities are owing to the failure to remit statutory obligations which increased from 1 point 6 billion kwacha in 2019 to 2 point 1 billion kwacha in 2020.

He says the findings also show that misapplication of funds also increased from 17 million kwacha to 18 million kwacha.

He says the councils also saw an increase in unspent monies from 8 million kwacha in 2019 to 54 million kwacha in 2020.

Speaking during a press briefing, Dr. SICHEMBE said due to the financial irregularities in the local authorities, there has been poor service delivery, failure to meet statutory obligations and lack of community development.

Meanwhile, Dr. SICHEMBE also disclosed that the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit -DMMU- among other issues failed to provide documentation for requests, quotations and actual quotations for awarding of contracts amounting to over 224 million kwacha t
21 shortlisted suppliers to supply reusable and surgical masks among others.

Dr. SICHEMBE said the DMMU accumulated debt of over 394 million kwacha from the procurement of face masks due to the failure to confirm availability of funds before awarding the contracts.

He said the audit report also shows poor contract management by the ministry of health.

He cited a case where 36 contracts were given for the supply and delivery of over 2 million N95 face masks at over 214 million kwacha but the supplier provided KN95 face masks as one of the examples .

The Auditor General said suppliers that were supposed to provide items worth over 81 million and over 203 United States dollars have NOT delivered and the ministry has NO evidence of the action which was taken against them.

Dr. SICHEMBE said financial irregularities have also been observed in the ministries of sports and tourism.

On the audit report on Parastals, Dr. SICHEMBE said 21 out of 33 companies under IDC recorded net losses totaling 7 point 3 billion kwacha in 2019, to 17 point 3 billion kwacha in 2020.

He said among the companies are ZESCO, Zambia Railways and Kagem Mining while 4 companies had negative work capital of which among them is Times of zambia, Zambia Railways, Zambia Daily Mail and ZSIC General insurance .

Meanwhile, on the Audit Rport for water and sanitation , Dr. SICHEMBE noted that there are some water utility companies that operated without a board of directors while others lacked audited financial statements .

And Dr SICHEMBE said his office has also started conducting performance audits of which are conducted in the Government measures to address the impact of climate change on food security in Zambia with a focus on main crops.

He also stated that a performance audit was also carried out on the management of electronic waste in Zambia for the period of 2016 to 2021.

He also said the office also conducted a performance audit on the distribution of medicines and medical. supplies and on Government measures to reduce road traffic accidents in Zambia in the period 2016 to 2019.

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