Vice President Saulos Klaus Chilima has backed proposals by the Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC) to redesign its complaints handling system in order to improve or speed up service delivery in line with the spirit of the reforms the Tonse administration is embarking on.
Chilima observed that in its current state, the system has resulted in accumulation of backlogs and delays in conclusion of the cases.
The Vice President made the remarks on Friday evening after meeting the management teams of the Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC) and the National Audit Office (NAO) to discuss reforms as the country strives to improve service delivery in the public sector.
During his meeting with the MHRC acting Executive Secretary, Wilson Mwafulirwa, Chilima was told that the constitutional body plans to implement to achieve its mandate of promoting and protecting human rights in Malawi.
“I have welcomed the proposed legal reform to review the Human Rights Commission Act so that it responds to modernity. I also strongly recommended that the amendment must be comprehensive to avoid coming back to the same document within three years for another review,” he said.
“It was also encouraging to note that the Commission is hitting the ground running to create a unit that will facilitate the effective implementation of the Access to Information Act. This development follows the commitment – by His Excellency Dr. Lazarus Chakwera, President of the Republic – to operationalise the Access to Information Act,” added the Veep.
And upon meeting the Acting Auditor General, Rexie Chiluzi, Chilima said he was impressed with the progress NAO has made remarkable on expanding the scope of audit areas to include parastatals.
He observed that the institution has significantly reduced the backlog on audit reports to one year.
“However, new opportunities still exist for NAO to introduce procurement audits, information system audits and projects audits in a bid to further expand its scope and ensure that there is value for money for taxpayers. Meanwhile, as the institution works to amend the Public Audit Act as a reform area I have recommended that they must institute sanctions on officers who keep on answering to the same audit queries every year,” he said.
Chilima recommended that NAO should isolate the proposed amendments in the Public Audit Act that touch on its financial and reporting independence and the appointment of Auditor General so that we can discuss these further.
He has since advised NAO and MHRC to submit a roadmap, clearly indicating what will be achieved before their next meeting in 90 days.
But on a different note, Chilima was concerned to observe the lack of women representation in the delegation of these two institutions which was male dominated despite the 60-40 requirement in the Gender Equality Act.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :