CommunityDevelopmental

Govt commits to accountability

By SYLVESTER CHISHIMBA

GOVERNMENT has committed to continue working with Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to promote integrity and accountability in the manner in which resources are utilised.

Eastern Province Minister Peter Phiri says the Government acknowledges and appreciates the role of CSOs to demand for accountability in public finance management and calls for greater enforcement on the findings of the audit reports.

Speaking as guest of honour in a speech read on his behalf by Eastern Province deputy permanent secretary Beauty Phiri during the launch of the Strengthening Accountability Networks Among Civil Society (SANCUS) project by Transparency International Zambia(TIZ) held yesterday at Eastern Comfort Lodge in Chipata, the Provincial Minister said CSOs and the media play a key role in informing and sensitising the public on the need to participate in issues relating to public finance management, budget processes, accountability of public resource utilisation and the fight against corruption.

“They are also crucial in advocacy for legal reforms to strengthen access to information which improves citizens and CSOs demand for accountability,” he said.

The two years project is going to be implemented in three districts located in Eastern Province namely  Chipata, Katete and Petauke.

Mr Phiri said the project’s main objective is to strengthen public participation and consultation as well as oversight in the policy and budget cycle.

“As we all know, good public finance management is a cornerstone of any country’s development agenda. It determines how well a nation is able to translate it’s development plans and resource endowments into higher standards of living for it’s citizens,” he said.

Mr Phiri said that at every level of Government, it remains important that transparency, accountability and integrity characterise the utilisation of public resources.

“It is for this reason that the Government of the Republic of Zambia has put in place the Public Finance Management Act, 2018.The Act provides for the strengthening of accountability, oversight, management and control of public funds in the public financial management framework.

And Transparency Action Group (TAG) Chipata chairperson Lawrence Muzi said the SANCUS project whose objective is to improve democratic accountability of public institutions by empowering CSOs to demand for systematic change to address accountability deficits.

Mr Muzi said the two year SANCUS project will also be implemented in Livingstone and Choma district in Southern Province; and in Mongu district in Western Province respectively.

He said the project will utilise  three pronged approach network building, vertical accountability and horizontal accountability in implementing the project which will proactively work with Government Ministries and agencies, CSOs, the media and communities in the six selected districts.

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