AUSTERITY MEASURES FOR STATUTORY BODIES TOO – PS

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By BUUMBA CHIMBULU

GOVERNMENT has urged statutory bodies to guard public resources as it implements austerity measures.

Commerce, Trade, and Industry Permanent Secretary, Mushuma Mulenga, said statutory bodies should support Government as it implemented austerity measures.

Mr Mulenga said austerity measures implemented by Government were also affecting statutory bodies as they were not spared from cuts in expenditure

He said this when he met the management team at the Zambia Compulsory Standards Agency (ZCSA) to familiarise himself with its operations.

“The expenditures should be carefully considered and varied to ensure that only necessary and priority activities are undertaken to avoid further strain on the treasury, but also to optimise revenue collection,” Mr Mulenga said.

Mr Mulenga indicated that he was aware that revenue collection was not the primary mandate of the Agency, and that this came as a means of facilitating service provision.

He therefore implored management to focus on delivering its mandate as outlined in the Compulsory Standards Act number 3 of 2017.

Mr Mulenga also said increased information sharing among Government agencies was cardinal to enable a conducive business environment in the country.

“The vision of the Ministry is anchored on the Seventh National Development Plan.  For us to achieve this vision, we need to understand what each Agency is doing and how we can all work together towards achieving this goal,” he said.

Mr Mulenga observed that agencies in the ministry were not communicating the achievements and impact of their work to the public.

He said information sharing was cardinal within the institution and among Government departments so that each department was aware of what others were doing and how these could be improved.

 “Embrace humility in the discharge of your duties to the public, but do not hold back in informing them about the positive impact this work has,” Mr Mulenga said.

ZCSA Executive Director, Peggy Chituta, explained that the agency was enhancing its operations through the Risk and Compliance Unit, which would use the results of inspection activities to profile businesses and products.

“One of the benefits this is bringing is improved operational efficiencies and increased ease of doing business,” she said.

Ms Chituta said the agency required modern systems and equipment to carry out such an exercise and was optimistic that with continued support from the Government, this would soon be accomplished.

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