THE Office of the Auditor General is against the establishment of the State Audit Commission which has been proposed in the Draft Constitution of 2015.
Auditor General Anna Chifungula told the Parliamentary Committee on Legal Affairs, Governance, Human Rights, Gender Matters and Child Affairs that the Clause should be deleted because countries which had adopted it experience a lot of challenges in the operations of the Office of the Auditor General.
The Clause provides the Commission to oversee the operations of the Office of the Auditor General, as prescribed; make recommendations to the President on the appointment of the Auditor General and perform such other related functions as prescribed.
She said this when she appeared before the Parliamentary Committee on Legal Affairs, Governance, Human Rights, Gender Matters and Child Affairs.
Dr Chifungula said the deletion of the clause would have consequential amendments where the State Audit Commission was referred to.
She said the Public Audit Act should instead be improved and strengthened.
Dr Chifungula also recommended that Article 258 (i) should read “there shall be an Auditor General who shall be appointed by the President, subject to ratification by the National Assembly
She said Clause 261 on tenure of Auditor General should read: “Subject to this Article, the Auditor General shall hold office for a fixed term of seven years or upon attaining the age of 65 years, whichever comes earlier”.
She said Article 261 (1) should amend the age to 60.
Dr Chifungula said the inclusion of the Office of the Auditor General would conform with the United Nations (UN) Resolutions A/66/209 and the International Standards for Supreme Audit Institutions (ISSAIS) 1, 10 and 11.
She recommended that the Auditor General’s report should read: “The Auditor General shall not later than nine months after the end of the financial year, submit an audit report to the President and the National Assembly, on the accounts of the Republic audited in respect of the preceding financial year. The Speaker shall, not later than seven days after the first sitting of the National Assembly after the receipt of such a report, cause it to be laid before the National Assembly”.
The committee is this week expected to present before the House submissions on the Constitution of Zambia Amendment Bill.