By BENNIE MUNDANDO
THE total amount of funds being queried by the Auditor General has reduced tremendously from K538 million in 2016 to K193 million in 2017, a drop of K345 million, an analysis by the Policy Monitoring and Research Centre (PMRC) has revealed.
The PMRC said, however, that despite the massive reduction in the total amount being queried, there had been a significant increase in the number of audit queries.
It attributed the rise in the audit queries to several flaws such as inadequate follow-up of implementation of service level agreements with commercial banks in respect of funds collected on behalf of Ministries, Provinces and Spending Agencies (MPSAs) which led to delays in sweeping funds to Bank of Zambia (Control 99) and caused an increase in the number irregularities.
“The Report of the Auditor General on Accounts of the Republic of Zambia for the financial year ended 31st December 2017 revealed that a total of K193 million was under query. This amount is a reduction from K538 million which was reported in the financial year ended 2016.
“Although the report reveals a significant reduction in the total amount under query, it highlights significant audit queries of increased incidents of unaccounted for funds, irregular payments, failure to follow procurement procedures, wasteful expenditure, over payment and misappropriation of funds,” reads the report in part.
The centre also observed that failure and delays in the collection of Government revenue as well as failure to carry out monthly bank reconciliations resulted in failure to identify anomalies such as overpayments, under or overbanking, unauthorized payments and misappropriation.