Malawi government has closed 139 dormant bank accounts belonging to various ministries and departments at the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) and 265 dormant accounts have been submitted to the Accountant General for review.
Treasury spokesperson Nations Msowoya has confirmed the development, saying it is part of the Public Finance Management (PFM) reforms.
He said the closed bank accounts, their balances have been transferred to government’s main operating account Account Number 1 at the central bank.
According to Msowoya, the closed accounts and those under review, were opened for different activities and projects but were not closed at the end of the project.
“The signatories were people in ministries and departments but I don’t have the list right now. The fact that they remained there posed a high risk to government and their closure should be welcomed by all,” Msowoya is quoted in the story published by Daily Times.
He said government is taking “concrete action” to increase the coverage of Integrated Financial Management System (IFMIS) – the computer software used in government payment system.
Ifmis led to a pilferage of unprecedented levels in Malawi’s public finance management scandals. Ifmis started in 2005 in Malawi and financial maladministration are said to have started around that time.
“ The main government bank accounts have been incorporated into the Ifmis and the backlog of all transactional data for 2014/15 has been captured. Payments of budgeted expenditure that are generated outside of the Ifmis have also been reduced. The ultimate goal is to integrate all bank accounts into the Ifmis to improve the accounting and control of public resources,” Msowoya said.
Msowoya disclosed that an Ifmis security officer has been appointed to manage the security of the system and provide security training.
All these efforts come in the aftermath of the shooting of Ministry of Finance budget director Paul Mphwiyo in September 2013 which later led to revelations of public officers siphoning money by paying companies that never offered any services.
The Capital Hill cash-gate scandal, which has seen some people convicted and jailed led to the suspension of budgetary support for Malawi.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :