Barely a week after Nyasa Times unravelled a syndicate at Information Ministry that is ripping off government revenue by using government equipment for their personal benefit, fresh investigations show officers in the Technical Section of the ministry has been pocketing illegal allowances whenever they are carrying out their core duties.
Nyasa Times sources within the ministry has revealed that officers always demands hefty allowances from unsuspecting individuals and organizations who hire Public Address System from the ministry even in the event they have not travelled out of their duty station.
According to government regulations, officers claim subsistence allowances when they have travelled outside their duty station which is supposed to cater for their food and lodging and this is backed by a circular which is issued by the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC).
The practice is deeply ingrained so much so that even other government department and ministries pay allowances to these officers failing which they don’t work yet the same government pays their salaries for doing the work they were employed for.
“Officers from Technical Section of ministry of Information who mans the PA systems demands allowances from people who hire their equipment. They issue ordinary receipts and not the government General Receipt which ensures that money will go to government coffers,” the source said.
These allowances, said the source, are illegal because one is not supposed to claim when they are working within their duty stations, saying this has been happening even when officers within Lilongwe at places such Capital Hotel, Lilongwe Hotel which are a stone throw away from their place of work at Chief Kilipula Building.
Director of Information Gerald Viola confessed that he is aware of the syndicate that is ripping off government of its much needed revenue but was yet to summon the officers involved in the malpractice.
Further, revelations has it that the Film Unit in the ministry is also deeply involved in the malpractice of hiring out equipment like Video Cameras, Television sets etc and do not remit the revenue acquired to government coffers.
“This malpractice is not only limited to the Head Office in Lilongwe but is also spread out to all Regional, district Information that spread across the country. The revenue collected ends up in officer’s pocket instead of government Account No 1. The amount is very substantial and could have gone a long way in contributing to government revenue. Believe you me Information ministry is completely rotten,” bemoaned the source.
According to our source the Technical Section and the Film Unit of the Information ministry is indexed as one of the government departments which collects revenue for government whose proceeds go to Account No One, where all government revenue is kept.
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