Malawi Heath Equity Network (MHEN) has appealed to government to consider deploying internal auditors to all 28 district councils in the country to effectively manage the public finance resources.
MHEN Executive Director, George Jobe said in an interview Sunday in Lilongwe that according to the research the institution conducted in Ntcheu among other challenges, it was discovered that lack of auditors was seriously affecting management of funds in the councils.
He said auditors are supposed to provide guidance and direction on how the financial resource should be used and that their absence was a big threat.
“It is not a surprise why some councils are failing to account for the money they received because the internal auditors who could have been providing direction and advise the authorities how to use the money are not there. May we humbly request the government to act with urgency and deploy auditors to our councils to avoid wastage of public funds,” Jobe explained.
The Executive Director observed that, “There still is a challenge when it comes to budget and programme implementation, the council does its own budget and programmes and the same happens with NGOs and CSOs. We cannot progress if we keep on doing thing in separate ways, councils and its partners must come together and put their resources in one basket or share responsibilities and work as a team,”
Furthermore, the research discovered that councils did not involve people from the rural areas when preparing their annual budget a development which was described to be sad as the needs of the rural mass were obviously left out.
“From now own may we ask the councils to consider inviting people from villages to be part and parcel of the budget committee,” said the MHEN boss.
Planning and Economic Analyst for the Local Government Finance committee, Yohanne Nyanja said government was as well concerned with the absence of internal auditors and that plans to send them to the councils were at an advanced stage.
“The findings of the research are a true representation of the situation on the ground but let me assure Malawians that government will soon deploy auditors to all the 28 district councils. We expect these auditors to assist in managing the finance resource and improve transparency,” he said.