January 8, 2020
By Ibrahim Tarawallie
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has called for financial discipline in the Ministry of Finance with regards the utilization of the country’s resources.
Commissioner of the ACC, Francis Ben Kaifala stated that after thoroughly perusing the 2018 Auditor General’s Report, they discovered that the finance ministry has a lot of questions to answer.
“If the economic and financial situation of the country is to be changed, the finance ministry has to be a lot more disciplined because when they are holding other people accountable, they have to start with themselves,” he said.
He was speaking at a presser hosted yesterday to brief newsmen and civil society organizations as to what they intend to do with the Auditor General’s Report of 2018.
He highlighted monthly increases in employees’ basic salary, GST allowances amounting to over 700million paid to staff but no supporting documents to justify such expenditure and no evidence to show the procurement of ICT equipment valued over 300million as some of the issues mentioned in the report.
“The ministry of finance is responsible for fiscal discipline in the country and it has to live as an example. If they are not disciplined in dealing with the resources of the country, then we have a serious problem. If what is in the report about the ministry is justified, then the ministry has to re-examine itself,” he said.
He assured of their determination to prioritized issues highlighted in the report for the ministry than any other ministry because that is where it should start.
The ACC czar said after perusing he report, they have identified areas where there are material losses within the public service, which could have been prevented.
He added that there are matters in the report they have suggested for immediate action subject to consultation with parliament, while they have already intervened into other matters, with investigations ongoing and people charged to court to stand trial or some fined.
“We have also identified areas which should be immediately investigated and we will work with parliament to do so. There are also areas in the report which the commission has investigated and results are available. The days when audit reports were regarded as mere opinions and no action taken on them are long gone,” Kaifala noted.
He opined that financial indiscipline in the country is huge as people like to spend but don’t want to account for it.
He added that most of the loses identified in the report draw to actions that ought to have been done by the National revenue Authority (NRA), which is why they will be working with them to be able to do either a system cleanup in respect of issues that call to their actions or have them recovered resources that will be useful for their work.