Government to stem financial mismanagement in Zambian missions abroad - The Zambian government has taken decisive action aimed at curbing incidents of financial mismanagement in its foreign missions.
The Ministry of Finance disclosed Tuesday that, in partnership with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, it has convened an intensive joint training programme for all accountants and administrators in missions abroad in order to close the public resource management skills gap among Zambian diplomats.
Ministry of Finance acting permanent secretary, Edward Kapwepwe, who addressed participants at the training workshop, noted with concern that over the years, reports of the Auditor General had revealed irregularities with regard to procurement of goods and services, and management of properties in missions abroad.
“We are determined to stop the irregularities but it is the duty of public service accounting personnel to give all other non-accounting staff, constant guidance in the handling of public property and finances,” he said.
“It is envisaged that the knowledge which you will acquire from this programme will help to guarantee the lawful and prudent utilisation of not only property, but also financial resources in missions abroad,” said Kapwepwe.
He said the 2014 budget has a total provision of K343.3 million for all missions abroad and urged the participants to ensure that financial accounting practices and standards were complied with in order to contribute to the attainment of Government’s vision in developing the country. (1US=K550)
“The annual financial report and supporting statements should be credible, comprehensive, easy to understand and of world class standards,” he added.
The Acting Permanent Secretary appealed to controlling officers to ensure that public resources are utilized on intended programmes so that the broader development objectives of government were attained in a timely manner.
“I am confident that after this training programme, accountants and administrators will heighten their dedication to prudent financial management.
“Being dedicated is not enough, so accountants and administrators in missions abroad are expected to work tirelessly to ensure that audit queries are eliminated while meeting the broad objectives of the government,” he prodded the diplomats.
Zambia’s Accountant General, Dick Chellah Sichembe, said the weakness in financial management in the public service has a serious dent on the integrity of the treasury.
“Let me assure you that I will stand tall in ensuring that the tenets of good financial management in the public service are upheld. After this training, the performance of accounting staff is expected to be above board,” Sichembe warned.