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Pac grills government departments

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The Public Accounts Committee (Pac) of Parliament Tuesday took to task officials from the Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare as well as the National Local Government Finance Committee (NLGFC) over audit queries in the fiscal year ended June 30, 2017.

Controlling officers in the NLGFC, led by Executive Director, Alufeyo Banda, were made to give explanations on 19 audit queries while officials from the Ministry of Gender, led by Principal Secretary, Erica Maganga, explained three audit queries.

The audit queries ranged from payments charged to wrong budget lines, unaccounted for fuel expenditure, unaccounted for stores, payment vouchers without supporting documents, and procurement made without sourcing at least three quotations.

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The audit queries arose after an audit by the Office of the Auditor General revealed gaps in some of these areas.

Pac Chairperson, Ken Kandodo, said accountability is crucial in the running of government ministries, departments and agencies.

Kandodo underscored the need for controlling officers to ensure that every tambala allocated to government departments is accounted for.

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Among others, yesterday’s meetings revealed that some crucial documents were not available during the time auditors from the Auditor General’s Office were conducting their audits but were later made available and reconciliations were done.

Kandodo urged the two groups to improve their record management processes so as to avoid issues of audit querries.

“Record keeping is very key in public finance management. The Ministry of Gender as well as the National Local Government Finance Committee are trusted with many resources from the budget, therefore the need for them to be prudent in the way they spend the resources,” Kandodo said.

On her part, Maganga pledged that her ministry would improve on its record management.

Pac is entrusted with the responsibility of promoting accountability and transparency for public finances in Malawi.

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