The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament yesterday called for an urgent forensic audit into circumstances that have led to the suspension of the government electronic accounting system and the ongoing revelations of massive looting of public funds at Capital Hill.
PAC had to digress from its normal business of pinning down government controlling officers over audit queries in the Auditor General’s reports to discuss a motion on the suspension of the Integrated Financial Management Information System (Ifmis) and various reports of huge sums of money civil servants have been allegedly siphoning from the public purse.
Committee member Henry Mussa moved the motion for the proposal to order the forensic audit, saying Parliament could not keep watching over the unfolding saga when donors, civil society organisations and various members of the general public are expressing concern.
He said the forensic audit should be done by external auditors, since the National Audit Office (NAO) reports directly to the Ministry of Finance whose officials are among those allegedly implicated in the looting of public funds.
Another member Lingson Belekanyama seconded the motion and all members of the committee voted for its adoption.
PAC vice-chairperson Daveson Nyadani said the committee has summoned Chief Secretary to Government Hawa Ndilowe and Secretary to the Treasury Randson Mwadiwa to appear before it on the issues.
Asked what NAO is doing in light of the crisis, NAO corporate communications officer Thomas Chafunya yesterday said: “The Auditor General and the National Audit Office already interrogated the payment system and went to the bottom of the problem in the Ifmis and recommendations were immediately made.”