Abuse of Govt resources report shocks CSPR

 

THE Civil Society for Poverty Reduction (CSPR) is deeply shocked and concerned that public funds aimed at improving the living standards of people in the country have continued to be misapplied by those entrusted to run the public service. CSPR Luapula Province coordinator Hope Mwelaisha said the revelation in the 2015 Auditor General’s report on how these funds were mismanaged in various line ministries was disheartening. “This is of particular concern, considering that poverty reduction programmes were under-funded, in some cases funds were not released at all to the purpose,” she said. She said CSPR was shocked by the irregular payments jump from K26 million to K115 million in the Auditor General report of 2015. She ‘‘noted with disgrace’’ the various Government agencies with the highest ranking of unvouchered expenditures of K349 million  followed by the undelivered materials amounting to K251 million. She said while CSPR was aware of the challenges faced to discipline erring public service workers within the current public service working conditions, Government should take action to ‘‘critically consider effectively and efficiently implementing performance contracts with public service workers to enhance monitoring of performance of public service workers in various line ministries’’. Ms Mwelaisha said the unvouchered expenditure was where payments were either missing or  unsupported by relevant documents such as receipts and purchase orders. “However, the irregularity remains an area of great concern by CSPR as it makes it difficult to ascertain why there has been a continuous mismanagement of public funds by Government institutions,” he said. She said there were high poverty levels in the country with Luapula standing at 81 percent, according to the living conditions monitoring survey of 2015. Ms Mwelaisha urged the controlling officers in various line ministries to put in measures of effective monitoring of resources. She said it was ‘‘extremely unfortunate’’ that the Auditor General’s report had been a mere annual publication of less interest to those in Government to make corrective measures where public resources had been misused.

 

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