Government has admitted that there is widespread abuse of funds in district councils, the ministry of local government has confirmed.
The ministry’s principal secretary Chris Kang’ombe said on Monday in Ntcheu that there was “need for transparency and accountability in handling government resources in districts.”
Kang’ombe spoke during an orientation session for Ntcheu District Council Finance Committee and Managers.
According to him the “orientation was organized with the aim of orienting the Ntcheu District Council to clear their audit queries and ensure that the future Audit Reports are clean.”
Kang’ombe added that the Government of Malawi is transferring a lot of resources to Local Authorities for instance in this current financial year alone, a total of 34 billion kwacha was allocated for Local Authorities.
“We have witnessed increased transfer of resources by the Local Development Fund (LDF) and other cooperating partners such as UNICE,” said the PS.
He explained that over the years significant initiatives have been made by Government and Local Government Ministry towards capacity building of Local Authorities.
“Some of the initiatives include, the automation of the accounting system of Local Authorities using the integrated financial Management system (IFMIS) to all the 35 Councils, the recruitment of Chief Accountants in all the Local authorities to strengthening the Directorate of Finance,” he said.
The PS said despite all the initiatives, the Ministry of Local Government has noted that there are a number of audit issues presented in audit reports of financial statements for the period 2010, 2011 and 2012.
“Councils have challenges in the preparation of the financial statements that comply with the international accounting standards,” the PS said.
Kang’ombe said it is worrisome that there are gaps in complying with financial management policies, procedures and regulations.
In the just ended Public Accounts Committee session of the Parliament, 14 Councils were summoned to appear before the Committee of Parliament for a healing on Audit queries for the 2010 audits.
The National Audit Office is yet to release all the audited accounts in all 35 Councils. Some of the notable figures present were Inkosi Gomani VI, Mr Harry Phiri, DC for Ntcheu and Council Chair and Councilor Shimika Njovu.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :