GOVERNMENT must start producing monthly public expenditure reports for the public to effectively monitor how much is being spent, says Economics Association of Zambia (EAZ) president Dr Chrispin Mphuka.
Dr Mphuka said in an interview that it was difficult for the public now to monitor how much money was being spent by Government in the absence of monthly reports.
“The problem is Government will always hide behind the curtain by making statements which it will not fulfill; they do not produce monthly reports to show how much they are expected to spend and how much has been collected,” he said.
He said monthly reports would act as indicators of what Government was doing to save money after cutting down expenditure.
“If we had those monthly reports we could monitor all these things in a much stricter way. So it is important to produce these reports on a monthly basis to show us how much Government has saved and spent.
“When you commit yourself to something, you need to have indicators showing how much has been saved through such measures; so how do we know about it when there are no indicators,” he said.
Dr Mphuka said the public needed proof that Government was putting into action what it had promised through monthly reports. He said EAZ was uncomfortable with the absence of monthly reports because it could not hold Government accountable.
“It makes it very difficult for anyone to see that assertion without putting a figure on what is happening. Of course the only time we will know about how much Government is spending is during the yearly reports,” he said.