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25 CONTROLLING OFFICERS CHARGED OVER AUDIT QUERIES

By SILUMESI MALUMO
TWENTY five controlling officers have been charged by Cabinet in accordance with the performance contracts for the omissions and commissions as highlighted in the Auditor General’s reports.

In a statement, government spokesperson Dora Siliya said Cabinent had resolved to take disciplinary action against erring officers in order to restore confidence in the executive.
Ms Siliya also said Cabinet had ordered that disciplinary action should be taken against officers cited for wrong doing in the Auditor General’s report.
She said government was concerned about the number of ministries, provinces and spending agencies being cioted for audit queries as this has potential to undermine public confidence in the Executive and more fundamentally, the adverse effects on the performance of the public and service delivery.
The concerns by government arise from the Auditor General’s Report for the financial year ended 31st December, 2019 and the Covid -19 interim report which have cited some controlling officers for irregularities.
Ms Siliya said Cabinet at its meeting on October 26, directed that disciplinary action be taken on all officers who would be cited in the report.
She said depending on the exculpatory statement provided, appropriate disciplinary action will be taken against the erring controlling officers and their staff.
The 25 controlling officers will appear before the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) in due course.
The minister however said government has commended 37 controlling officersfo adhering to the financial management regulations and attaining the zero audit query.
Meanwhile, the covid interim audit has revealed that the Ministry of Health sought permission from the Zambia Public Procurement Authority (ZPPA) to deviate from using full standard solicitation documents and instead use simplified requests for quotations irrespective of the threshold in light of the COVID-19 crisis.
In a letter dated March 13, 2020, the ministry of Health applied for a no objection from the Zambia Public Procurement Authority to deviate from using full standard solicitation documents and instead use simplified requests for quotations irrespective of the threshold.
The ministry however did not observe the other requirements for award contracts as provided for by the ZPPA.

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