Vision 2030: Auditor General puts shoulder on the wheel
Nyanga (New Ziana) – The Office of the Auditor General (OAG) said on Tuesday it was willing and prepared to drive Zimbabwe’s Vision 2030 development agenda by, among other things, proffering sound recommendations to improve Public Finance Management systems through its regular audit reports.
This, Auditor General Mildred Chiri said, would give impetus to enabling economic blue prints such as the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1).
The government, which has set a target of transforming the country into an upper middle income economy by 2030, has touted sound Public Financial Management as one of the key enablers of vision 2030.
As such, Chiri said her office has a crucial role to play in the national development agenda.
“The Government of Zimbabwe through the Transitional Stabilisation Programme of 2018-19 and now the NDS1 is building a robust base for economic growth for the period 2020-30. My office will complement this role by giving sound recommendations through my audits,” she said while opening a media engagement workshop in Nyanga.
“My office through its audits will also proffer practical recommendations to the various strategic areas of NDS1 so as to help improve the quality of Public Financial Management which in turn enhances public accountability and transparency. This will also ensure quality service delivery as the national objectives will be achieved with minimal loss off resources.
“If audit recommendations are implemented, the positive difference that is expected in citizen’s lives will be realised.”
Chiri said while her work has been primarily known for exposing financial improprieties in government Ministries, Parastatals and Local Authorities, she encouraged the media to also amplify the positive developments undertaken by the various government functions.
“Audit reports by their nature point out anomalies in an organisation which mainly impinge on financial resources. However, this does not mean that there are no positive developments and successes in that entity that would have been audited.
“The audit report only gives half the story of an organisation, the other half can be obtained from the organisation or Ministry itself. Assessing the overall performance of a public entity using the findings of the Auditor General’s report alone would be myopic and incomplete,” she said.
To add impetus to her work, Chiri said the Auditor General was working on introducing audit reports in various local languages.
“We intend to start with Ndebele and Shona versions and hope to increase the dialects with time. Over and above that, we are also planning on introducing a summarised graphic report which is easy to comprehend.”
The work of the OAG has been highlighted in the media in recent days following the release of the 2020 Auditor General’s report.
Part of the report revealed massive accounting improprieties at the Harare City Council which could have cost the city about US$190 million.
In her report on local authorities, Chiri said the Harare City Council had failed to verify some money in its books of accounts.
This left the local authority exposed to misappropriation of public finances with strong suspicions that suppliers might have been overpaid, and in some cases, paid without providing any goods or services.
The revelations come at a time council is failing to provide adequate services.