Stop transferring Auditor General’s staff to cabinet office – Mundubile
By NATION REPORTER
EADER of the Opposition in Parliament Brian Mundubile says the government should stop transferring Directors at the Auditor General’s Office to Cabinet Office as this will compromise the Auditor General’s report.
Mr Mundubile who is also a PF presidential candidate said a compromised report, would make it difficult for Members of Parliament to authenticate it during Parliamentary sittings, adding that this was the first Report under the UPND administration.
He said the transfers brought the number to 400 Directors and Deputy Directors from various ministries that would be drawing free salaries while in holding positions, without doing any work.
Mr Mundubile said the constitution provided for safeguards and watchdog bodies to discipline Government by watching all activities.
He said the Auditor General was one such office which basically looked at how Government was carrying on the stewardship that was entrusted on them by the people.
“They express an opinion after looking through the books of accounts of Government,” he said.
Mr Mundubile said that this is a ploy to destabilise the Auditor General’s Office at a critical time when there was an active audit.
“As parliamentarians, we are concerned because the Auditor General’s Report forms part of our functions in providing oversight to Government,” he said.
He said the work of parliament would be adversely affected if the Audit Report was not credible. “We know that this is the first audit that will be carried out covering the period under the UPND administration. We feel that this is what has caused panic UPND friends to ensure that they produce a clean report. But as Parliamentarians that have been following events as they unfold, we have minimum expectations,” he said.
He also said, stakeholders expect the Auditor General’s Report to cover the cancelation of hunting licenses, procurement of fertiliser at Fifty Million Dollars when the market price was Thirty Five Million Dollars and the One Hundred Million Dollar contract under Ministry of Health, among others.
“Even if Government tries to destabilize the Office, we will make specific demands to the Auditor General and we will find it very difficult to defend a document that is watered down. What is important now is that let them wait for the Audit Report and use it as a mirror to reflect on how UPND has managed the Affairs of the country.
There have been concerns regarding the governance style of the UPND Government,” he said. Mr Mundubile said a credible audit report would serve as a guide to the UPND Administration going forward so that they restrain themselves from doing certain things and govern the country in the manner that was expected.
“We are concerned that Senior Auditors with experience spanning over 28 years victimised by throwing them to Cabinet Office in their usual style, bringing the number to 400 directors and deputy directors sitting at Cabinet Office and drawing salaries and President Hakainde Hichilema should say he is prudent in managing public resources? I think as a country we ought to get serious,” he said.