Parastatals neglect to pay K1.7b statutory fees – AG report

By Staff Reporter

PARASTATAL bodies have neglected to settle statutory obligations of up to K1.7 billion, the latest Auditor General’s report has revealed.

And Transparency International (TI) Zambia has demanded for action against parastatal bodies and institutions for failing to settle their statutory obligations amounting to K1.7 billion.

According to a statement by the Auditor General’s office Head of Public Relations, Ellen Chikale, the accounts of parastatal bodies and other Statutory Institutions for the financial year ended 31st December 2017 has revealed poor financial and operational performance in most of the audited entities.

Chikale stated that failure to settle statutory obligations ranks high at K1.7 billion, with an implication of deprivation of the much-needed revenue to government.

She said in the case of non-remittances to NAPSA and LASF contributions, the employees would not access their benefits at the time of termination of service.

“The second highest ranking audit finding is wasteful expenditure at K439 million which is a loss to government as the audited entities disregarded due care in expending,” she said.

Chikale explained that the other irregularities are failure to recover loans at K54 million, followed by unsupported payments at K13 million, missing payment vouchers of K5 million, unaccounted for stores at K4 million and unretired imprest of K781, 004, undelivered stores at K821, 700 while irregular payments were at K293, 037.

She said that the report has also highlighted weaknesses in corporate governance, failure to produce financial statements, weaknesses in contract management and poor financial and operational performance as some of the irregularities raised.

“The report contains 16 parastatal bodies and other statutory institutions that were audited and had issues which were unresolved as at 31st December 2018,” she said.

Chikale said the 16 institutions that appear in the report either had their operations reviewed or accounts audited for periods longer than one financial year as in most cases, their books of accounts were primarily audited by appointed private audit firms in line with the enabling legislation.

She pointed out that such accounts though audited by private audit firms were reviewed by the auditor general and the results of such reviews were reported in accordance with the republican constitution, Public Finance Act and Public Audit Act.

“The report also includes findings as a result of interrogations into the information communication technology systems that the organizations have implemented in order to improve on efficiency and effectiveness of service delivery,” she said.

Meanhwile, TI Zambia has demanded that action should be taken against parastatal bodies and statutory institutions that failed to settle their statutory obligations amounting to K1.7 billion.

TIZ President Reuben Lifuka said it would be pointless for the auditor general to make such glaring revelations without government taking punitive action on the culprits.