(Last Updated on April 11, 2022 by zimdaily)
HARARE – The Auditor-General (AG) Mildred Chiri has decried continued failure to account for public funds by ministries and government departments, which resulted in more than $1,3 billion expenditure not being properly accounted for in 2020 to prove that the recorded transactions really occurred. Chiri said several government ministries failed to provide enough documentation for purchased assets, making it difficult to verify the accuracy of the expenditure they reported.
“Expenditure amounting to $1 309 482 199 was not supported by documents such as acquittals, invoices, receipts, delivery and goods received notes as proof that the recorded transactions really occurred. This is contrary to the provisions of section 59(15) of the Public Finance Management (Treasury Instructions) 2019, which states that payments should be adequately supported,” the report read.
The AG also revealed that dual payments amounting to $9 384 085 were made to suppliers in 2020 resulting in unnecessary expenditure. “The Finance ministry processed various payments to suppliers of goods and services on behalf of ministries without adequate supporting documentation. For example, direct payments amounting to US$22 024 406, R6 403 830 and Pula 8 359 434 were made by Treasury on behalf of the Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Resettlement ministry and Transport and Infrastructural Development ministry.
“In addition, direct payments amounting to $376 019 364 were made on behalf of the Home Affairs ministry without detailed documentary evidence of how the transactions were recorded and reported in the accounting records, which were also not availed for audit,” Chiri said.
“A number of ministries had expenditure variances between the figures reported in the Appropriation Account and those in the Public Financial Management System (PFMS), the computerised system used by the government to process payments.
“The reported expenditure should be in agreement with what is reflected in the system as all payments are supposed to be processed through the PFMS. Where there is a variance, reconciliation should be made to establish the cause.”