Pac wants SPC to act on errant officers

Mark Botomani

By Cathy Maulidi:

The Public Accounts Committee of Parliament (Pac) has challenged Secretary to the President and Cabinet (SPC) Colleen Zamba to discipline Controlling Officers who disregard laid-down public expenditure procedures.

Zamba appeared before the committee in Salima on Saturday.


Their meeting came a month after the Auditor General submitted to Parliament an audit report covering 2020-21, where he revealed that government ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) collectively failed to account for K96.8 billion of public funds.

Among others, the National Audit Office report exposed shortfalls in the management of public funds by MDAs and loopholes in accountability in terms of how the public funds are managed.

Among the culprits in the report were State House with K5 billion unaccounted for, Malawi Police Service with K22.5 billion unaccounted for while the Ministry of Education and the Malawi Defence Force could not explain how they used K529 million and K1 billion respectively.


Speaking after meeting Zamba, Pac Chairperson Mark Botomani said the SPC being the head of government should act and discipline Controlling Officers for institutions caught breaking laid-down public expenditure procedures.

“We wanted to hear from her how ready she is to discipline her officers who are breaking the law. There are procedures which have to be followed in terms of public expenditure, but some MDAs are ignoring them,” Botomani said.

He added that the committee also wants Zamba to instil discipline in the civil service in as far as public expenditure is concerned.

“Record keeping is also an issue within the MDAs and there is also an issue about our traffic police officers using fines collected for their own personal gains. That is illegal and we wanted an assurance that these issues too will be dealt with and we got the assurance,” Botomani said.

Later in an interview, Zamba said her office will take necessary measures that will ensure improvement in expenditure and accountability within the civil service.

“It is not about how ready I am. We are more than ready to improve performance as well as accountability of government expenditure and programmes,” the SPC said.

She added that both sides will be setting another date to continue discussions on issues that the two parties failed to discuss during the weekend meeting.

The committee, among others, had arranged about 26 queries bordering on the audit reports, issues of ghost workers in the government system and the tendency by MDAs to ignore public finance expenditure guidelines.

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