Govt to strengthen financial law to curb abuse and tender flaws -Mwanakatwe

By Staff Reporter


Finance Minister Margaret Mwanakatwe has issued a Statutory Instrument no.42 of 2018 to operationalize and strengthen the new Public Finance Management Act no. 1 of 2018.


Mwanakatwe said the Act would give fiduciary duties to management and boards and made them accountable individually and severally for their decisions.


She  explained that the Act provides for members of management and boards to actually be imprisoned for loss of money to corruption, fraud or theft that occurs under their watch or reign.


“The Act has been made to close-up gaps and help promote public financial management. The Act is far reaching and since 2004, there has not been legal reforms to improve financial oversight role and integrity in public financial management took a nosedive,” said Mwanakatwe .


“The Public Finance Management Act has also promoted over-sight institutions of the Auditor General and Controller of Internal Audits and have become divisions headed by a Permanent Secretary. Accounting Units in Ministries, Provinces and Other Spending agencies (MPSA’s) have been elevated to directorate level,” she said


Mwanakatwe added that the Act has embedded provisions to facilitate the Treasury Single Account (TSA) and Integrated Financial Information Management System (IFMIS).


“The Act has also addressed concerns around financial irregularities existent in local authorities. The Act has outlined fiduciary duties for boards and management of State owned enterprises and statutory bodies.


This for the first time, will make the managers and boards be accountable for their decisions individually and severally,” she said.


She said this is aimed at improving the levels of decision morality, transparency, accountability and integrity among persons in positions of responsibility.


“The Public Finance Act has also given powers to the Secretary to Treasury to deal with non-performing and erring controlling officers (Permanent Secretary) and controlling bodies. The Act has also given the Treasury Revenue targets for ministries, provinces and other spending agencies.This is aimed at enhancing revenue generation to finance annual budget to improve on budget predictability and credibility”.