Govt performance contracts to spur improved accountability: Auditor General

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Harare (New Ziana) –The performance contracts which the government introduced in 2020 will spur improved accountability in the handling of public finances and compliance with recommendations of the Auditor General’s annual audit reports, an official has said.

Auditor General Mildred Chiri said this while addressing participants of a media training workshop in Nyanga on Wednesday.

When they were first introduced, performance contracts were targeted at permanent secretaries before they were extended to Ministers, chief executive officers of parastatals and local authorities and more recently, to chief directors and directors in Ministries.

The government said the move was part of efforts to raise the bar on service delivery to citizens.

Although, in the past, the AG’s audit reports had unearthed massive financial improprieties both in government departments and local authorities over the years, little or no action was taken against offending parties, allowing a culture of impunity to take root.

But, with its re-invigorated anti-corruption drive, the Second Republic has placed emphasis on fostering a culture of accountability and sound public financial management to protect tax payers’ money.

“In addition, we now have these performance contracts, I think this will also work as an incentive for people to work hard and to ensure that they excel in the areas in which they are going to be assessed,” Chiri said.

“When there are consequences spelt out, then chances are that people will work hard.”

President Emmerson Mnangagwa has said public officials who fail to perform according to the expectations of their performance contracts would be sanctioned while those who excel would be rewarded.

Quizzed on why in the past little or no action was taken against entities fingered in audit reports, Chiri said her role was limited to auditing and handing over her findings to the Minister of Finance, who in turn tables the reports before Parliament.

In an earlier address, Chiri said implementing audit recommendations would also assist in improving the lives of Zimbabweans.

“My office through its audits will also proffer practical recommendations to the various strategic areas of the National Development Strategy 1 so as to help improve the quality of Public Financial Management, which in turn enhances public accountability and transparency,” she said.

“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 citizens’ lives will be realised,” she added.

New Ziana

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