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Thursday, 23 July 2009

Irregularities galore..

A new report by the Auditor General reveals some staggering irregularities, similar to those we discussed here.

According to a statement released yesterday in Lusaka by Office of the Auditor General....irregular financial findings in the report of parastatal bodies amount to K264,486,618,109 with transactions which did not follow tender procedures incurring K84,484,225,085. The parastatal bodies audited include Development Bank of Zambia, Indeni Oil Refinery Company, MOFED Tanzania Limited and Patents and Companies Registration Office.

The report on Indeni Refinery revealed that instead of paying K91,950,000,000 towards the re-capitalisation of the company, Government paid K97,750,000,000 resulting in an over-payment of K5,800,000,000. As of December 2008, the money had not been refunded to government.

During the period November 2006 to January 2007, the government released amounts totaling K97, 750, 000, 000 to Indeni Refinery for the rehabilitation of the plant, but it was observed that K48, 250, 000, 000 was allegedly misapplied on repayment of debt to Total Outre Mer SA.

Contrary to procurement procedures, the company procured various goods and services in amounts totaling K84, 262, 186, 109 without following tender procedures. The report states that rehabilitation costs in amounts totaling K79, 818, 077, 918 incurred between 2005 and 2007 were not supported by completion certificates.

And contrary to the conditions of service, between March 2006 and December 2007, a total amount of K57, 600, 290 was paid as DSTV subscription for senior members of staff. According to the report, stores items costing K1, 297, 861, 132 procured during 2006 and 2007 had not been supplied as of July, 2008.

The report on MOFED Tanzania Limited revealed that during the period from June 2005 to December 2007, no board meetings were held to enable the company pass and review decisions. It was however observed that amounts totaling K47, 592, 055 (US$11, 473) were irregularly incurred as board expenses.

In the report of the Patents and Companies Registration Office, it was revealed that during the period July to October 2006, K39,912,000 was misappropriated by a cashier at the Ndola Office. And according to the report, contrary to financial regulation number 45, there were 93 payments in amounts totaling K571, 882, 169 made during the period May 2003 to March 2007 which were inadequately supported in that they lacked receipts, invoices and acquittal sheets. And contrary to financial regulation number 96 (1), imprest in amounts totaling K59, 187, 110 involving 34 transactions issued to 10 officers during the period May 2003 to March 2007, had not been retired as of December 2008.
As usual we are chasing access to the detailed electronic version. We'll upload as and when we get them.

7 comments:

  1. A few steps forward, and one giant leap backwards. Zambia twasebana!

    Surely RB's re-appointment of the Dishonourable MP Dora Siliya, after she admitted to handling huge amounts of cash without any proper accountability whatsoever, only serves to undermine any anti-corruption efforts. The justice system has been further undermined by the same President, over the same issue. No wonder the animal kingdom are applauding his leadership!

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  2. Zedian's view is valid. But even more important is the continuing failure to prosecute culprits identified in the Auditor General's reports.

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  3. Zedian,
    This is the 2007 Auditor general's report on Parastatals. Underline the year 2007. How does RB come in?
    Let us not run away from facts.

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  4. Indeed the report does not yet bring the forensic accounting up to the present administration, and the most recent transactions it reviews appear to be from December 2007. It is unclear what was known or should have been known about the activities of these parastatals by then Vice President Rupiah Banda (as of 9 October 2006). As always, the AG's Office deserves praise for bringing such thorough professionalism to the difficult task of policing the national accounts. They have once again proven that the will exists to investigate corruption, and I agree that recent increases in their budget represents money well spent. What remains to be seen is if the sanctions brought against those found to be responsible (if indeed their culpability can be proven) are sufficiently robust as to truly provide an effective deterrent against corrupt or otherwise improper conduct by public employees in the future. People who would otherwise engage in corruption need to believe not only that they may be caught, but that the consequences of getting caught will outweigh the benefits of succeeding in order to be deterred.

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  5. General,

    If you're suggesting that I am wrong in observing that RB's action, vis a vis the Dora Siliya saga, has undermined the CURRENT anti-corruption efforts and justice system, then you have got the wrong end of the stick.

    Do let us know how you think the President's reaction supports anti-corruption and discourages ministers spending tax payers money without being held to account.

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  6. Zedian,
    Can you please outline what RB did wrong regarding the Dora Siliya "saga"? Maybe that would be a better point from which to start.

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  7. General,

    I thought I was the one who had asked you a question?

    The Panel has got a good article outlining what is wrong with Dora's re-appointment. See link somewhere on the right of this page. It's his oppinion, of course, which I happen to very much concur with.

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