Secretary to the treasury Dr Fredson yamba has directed all controlling officers in the country to acquire the public finance, Zambia public procurement acts, financial regulations and other government documents to be used as a guiding principle in their work.
Dr Yamba directed the permanent secretaries when he officially opened a one day controlling officers’ orientation workshop in Lusaka today.
Dr yamba also urged the officers to come up with additional measures that will contribute to resolve some of the challenges faced in management of resources in the public sector and concerns of oversight institutions such as the auditor general, the public accounts committee and the committee on estimates.
He has pointed out that past performance in management of public resources has been characterized by glaring irregularities and these involved misapplication and misappropriation of funds at various levels of government, procurement irregularities, failure to address audit queries and theft of public resources.
The secretary to the treasury notes that poor budget execution has become a norm as seen through the accumulation of unutilized balances in accounts, accumulation of domestic arrears on goods and services, delays in procurement and generally a slow pace of implementation of projects.
Dr Yamba says such vices have unfortunately become a permanent feature in the auditor-generals and controller of internal audit reports.
He has stated that regrettably this is happening at a time when the country is facing high levels of poverty and poor access to decent public services such as infrastructure, clean water and sanitation services for Zambian citizens.
Dr yamba has stressed on the need for the permanent secretaries to change the what he called as a sad reputation and restore confidence of the Zambians in the management of public funds by strictly adhering to government processes as laid down in various statutes with regard to management of resources.
The objective of the orientation workshop for the controlling officers is to orient them on the importance of strict adherence to laid down statutes and financial regulations.
The orientation workshop is also meant to adopt measures to strengthen treasury and financial management in the public sector including measures to enhance project implementation.It will also seek to adopt measures to increase government transparency and accountability in handling of public resources and adopt measures that will minimize fraud, outright theft and corrupt practices in government