Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism acting Principal Secretary (PS) Elsie Tembo says the delinking and dissolution of ministries is one of the major problems affecting record keeping in the public sector.
In an interview on Friday after meeting Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) over the Auditor General’s reports for the financial years 2013/14 and 2014/15, the controlling officer said the changes contribute to missing of documents when auditors go out to audit government ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs).
She said: “For instance, in one financial year, there was a Ministry of Tourism, Parks and Wildlife which was later linked with the Ministry of Information and Civic Education. Thereafter, it was made a standalone ministry again before it was dissolved again later and three of its departments were assigned to other ministries, including Ministry of Industry and Trade.”
During the Auditor General’s meeting with officials from the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism, the report noted that there was failure to produce payment vouchers for audits amounting to K7.8 million, payment of subsistence allowance without using complete forms at K6.6 million, payment of vouchers without supporting documents at K1.7 million and stores items not recorded in the stores ledger valued at K20.6 million.
In her response to queries on the stores items valued at K20.6 million, Tembo told PAC that the stores ledger at the ministry headquarters did not maintain the record for the items under query.
PAC vice-chairperson Kamlepo Kalua said it was sad that the delinking of ministries affected the documentation. The Auditor General later cleared the queries.