Friday, July 06, 2007
By Chris Mulaliki in Solwezi
Friday July 06, 2007 [04:00]
AUDITOR General Anna Chifungula has disclosed that the Ministry of Finance and National Planning has failed to account for K1.9 trillion in unreconciled transactions at the Bank of Zambia. Addressing provincial heads of government departments and accountants at the Boma conference in Solwezi, Chifungula said the unreconciled transactions between the Ministry of Finance and the Bank of Zambia had been exposed in the consolidated financial report for 2005 released by the Accountant General.
“No one has been able to explain to us where the money went and how it was used at the Ministry of Finance. These unexplained financial transactions of K1.9 trillion between the Ministry of Finance and Bank of Zambia are in the 2005 consolidated financial report which has just been released by the Account General,” Chifungula said.
She explained that Ministry of Finance withdrew money from the government account at the Bank of Zambia for various projects in the country. She said her office audited old reports because the accountant general delayed in releasing financial reports.
“As long as the system remains manual, we will continue to audit old reports. We can’t make it earlier because we do not have the technology,” she said.
Chifungula told the provincial heads of government departments to be accountable and stop misapplication of government funds. She said she would write to the Secretary to the Treasury to consider decentralising the recruitment of internal auditors.
She observed that most departments did not have internal auditors hence the misapplication of government funds.
“Internal auditors help to ensure that funds released by government are spent according to laid down projects,” Chifungula said.
And North Western Province permanent secretary Richard Salivaji urged the provincial heads to follow laid down procedures in the expenditure of government resources.
Salivaji said government had released a lot of money for projects in the province that should be put to good use.
“Misapplication and misdirection of government funds is a problem and ignorance is no defense. Some of you do not even visit the districts,” Salivaji said.