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drafting Bill to manage public funds
The Herald (Zimbabwe)
November 07, 2006
working on a comprehensive piece of legislation to ensure accountability
in the expenditure of public money and set out punitive measures
against public institutions that fail to adhere to the Public Finance
Management System, a senior official said yesterday.
Finance Mr Willard Manungo told the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee
on Public Accounts that failure by some ministries to adhere to
the PFMS was a cause for concern.
He was responding
to questions raised by the lawmakers on what Treasury was doing
to ensure that there was transparency and accountability in the
operations of the ministries.
Mr Manungo said, was in the process of drafting the public finance
management Bill that would empower Treasury to deal with errant
departments and parastatals.
has in the past expressed concern over the failure by ministries
to produce annual audited accounts on time with some taking up to
six years to do so.
"We really need
provisions that empower us to deal with cases of financial misconduct.
Ministries are supposed to submit quarterly financial returns, but
some ministries are not doing this" Mr Manungo said.
"In the absence
of specific legislation, it limits our capacity in terms of dialogue
which we can have with ministries."
He said the
failure by departments and parastatals to produce to audited accounts
on time was partly due to the high staff turnover.
As a way of
dealing with the exodus of qualified staff, Government has established
a skills retention fund with $500 million being availed as seed
Mr Manungo said
the fund was yet to be disbursed since the Public Service Commission
was still finalising submissions by various ministries on possible
He noted that
the setting-up of the fund was only a stop-gap measure in curbing
brain drain, saying what was needed was a holistic approach in improving
conditions of employment in the civil service.
committee chairman and Masvingo Senator Cde Dzikamai Mavhaire wondered
why public enterprises were taking ages to produce audited reports
for tabling in Parliament yet they have in the past produced such
reports "overnight" for the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe in their quest
to seek funding.
Mr Manungo said
in terms of the law, it was the responsibility of parent ministries
to ensure that parastatals that fall under them tabled their audited
accounts on time.
also raised the issue of lack of substantive boards in a number
of parastatals, saying this was compromising their operations.
Mr Manungo said Minister for State Enterprises, Anti-Monopolies
and Anti-Corruption Cde Munyaradzi Paul Mangwana had been tasked
to address the issue.
Turning to another
matter, Mr Manungo said Zimbabwe’s foreign debt was about US$2 billion
with the shortage of foreign currency militating against the efforts
to service it.
he said, had 16 foreign currency accounts and out of these, nine
were under Treasury with the remainder operating under various ministries.
Mr Manungo said
he was satisfied with the running of the foreign currency accounts
by the ministries, which were allowed to retain 25 percent of the
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