Auditor General, Stevenson Kamphasa, has told parliamentarians that State House is blocking government auditors from conducting a headcount for staff at the State House.
Kamphasa was Wednesday responding to a question from Lilongwe South MP, Peter Dimba, during the ongoing parliamentary cluster meetings in Lilongwe when Kamphasa appeared before the joint committees of Public Accounts and Budget.
Dimba said he feared there could be many ghost workers at the State House.
Kamphasa said his office has always engaged the State House to conduct the headcount, but the officials there have always been elusive.
“They always say we are busy, especially when the President is on a trip. They always say we will not find anybody there,” Kamphasa said.
He said they are now planning to withhold any payment for arrears until the headcount is done.
Kamphasa, however, said the office managed to conduct the headcount at the Malawi Defence Force and the National Intelligence Bureau.
“The report is coming out on these two institutions, but we will be careful on the MDF because defence matters are sensitive,” he said.
Kamphasa said his office will continue to engage the State House officials on the need to conduct the head-count.
The Auditor General said his office embarked on a headcount and payroll audit for the government as a major activity during the year.
“The results of the headcount revealed that the civil service payroll had some ghost workers which have since been flashed out and deleted from the payroll,” he said.
He said there were 2,300 ghost workers in the civil service which have since been deleted.
“A number of non-existent and non-bona fide officers were also identified and were deleted from the payroll. The National Audit Office, through the Chief Secretary, wrote controlling officers to ensure that officers involved in the payroll fraud are disciplined and dealt with according to the Malawi Public Service Regulations,”
Kamphasa told the attentive legislators.
However, he said his office is facing some challenges such as lack of money as the office budget is determined by a ceiling set by the Treasury regardless of activities outlined in the estimates just like any other government ministry or department.
He said in certain circumstances, activities of the Auditor General were funded by the auditors and this consequently compromises professional work.
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