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Auditor General blames Anti-Corruption Bureau on 13 file cases

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Auditor General, Stevenson Kamphasa, has told Parliament of his frustrations with the Anti- Corruption Bureau (ACB) for failing to investigate 13 companies allegedly involved in dubious contracts with the government.

Kamphasa told parliamentarians sitting on the Public Accounts Committee and Budget and Finance Committee Wednesday during cluster meetings in Lilongwe that his office sent the files to the ACB a long time ago for investigations, but the graft-busting body is failing to pursue the matter.

“But we are still engaging them so that they give us full information on what transpired. We need to see progress, we expect them to deal with anything on corruption and give us a report,” Kamphasa said.

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As Kamphasa was speaking in a room on the second floor of the Parliament Building, ACB Director, Lucas Kondowe, was downstairs meeting the Legal Affairs Committee.

The issue of the 13 companies, which came up last year, did not, however, come up during Kondowe’s meeting with the legislators sitting on the Legal Affairs Committee.

Kamphasa, however, did not reveal names of the 13 companies but said they inflated payments which they got from the government and were dubiously awarded contracts.

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“Anyway, they (the ACB officials) are doing their job and we are doing ours,” Kamphasa said.

The National Audit Office was involved in investigating and forensic auditing the K577 billion unreconciled amount in Ifmis.

Following the report of the first phase of the audit, 13 case files were submitted to the ACB for further investigations after that amount was reduced to K236 billion.

Kamphasa told the joint committee that the assignment stalled for a while due to lack of funds, but the government, with support from DfID, funded the exercise which is in progress.

“Our target is to have this audit concluded by November 2017,” he said.

Members of the Public Accounts and the Budget and Finance committees have promised to do everything, within their powers, to force the ACB to act on the 13 files with urgency.

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