Office of the Auditor-General, Zambia

AG signs MOU with ACC

RELEVANCE OF THE OFFICE OF THE AUDITOR GENERAL

Role of OAG-Z

The role of the Office of the Auditor General, Zambia (OAG-Z) is to enhance accountability and transparency in the utilisation of public resources appropriated by parliament for the benefit of the people of Zambia. This is achieved through the audits that are carried out and the subsequent reporting to parliament on how public resources have been applied.

 Audits and standards

  • Financial and Compliance audits
  • Performance and Environmental audits
  • IT audits
  • Forensic audits

The results of Forensic and Investigations Audits are given to the management of the requesting entity, the President or prosecution agencies.

Contributions to the good management of financial resources

Recommendations on the report of the Auditor General are submitted by the Legislature Executive through the Secretary to the Treasury who within 60 days of the adoption of the report is required to issue an Action taken Report.

Examples of such actions include, but not restricted to the following:

  • Recovery of misappropriated funds from officers either through repayment of cash or through payroll recoveries.
  • Disciplinary action such as suspension, warnings (verbal and written), demotions and separation of officers from the service.
  • Prosecution of erring officers in a court of law.

Involvement in the fight against corruption

  • Though not directly related to corruption detection, auditing seeks to bring to light irregular financial activities which borders on corruption and fraud.
  • To enhance the fight against corruption, OAG-Z has partnered with the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) in Zambia to facilitate exchange of information on corruption and fraud.
  • In the course of our audits, we do report some of the issues we come across to competent authorities (such as the Police, the Drug Enforcement Commission and the ACC) without necessarily waiting for the end of the audit report.

Responsiveness of government to recommendations

OAG-Z is impressed with the Government’s keen interest in its reports and the action being taken.

In general, as a result of OAG’s work, there has been

  • Increased adherence to financial regulations in some government ministries and other government agencies.
  • Enhanced internal controls, such as introducing new systems with better controls.

In addition, some institutions which were operating without clear direction have now started preparing institutional and information technology strategic plans that are assisting them in realising their mission and thereby effectively contributing to the wellbeing of the nation.

Examples of recurrent findings in OAG-Z reports

  • Delayed banking and unaccounted for revenue
  • Poor project implementation
  • Overpayment of suppliers of goods and services, and contractors
  • Undelivered stores
  • Unsupported payments
  • Flouting of tender procedures
  • Non-recovery of advances and loans

Strengthening internal controls, sensitising controlling and accounting officers on financial regulations are important in eradicating these irregularities.

To ensure independence and professionalism in our work, the office has developed and adheres to these core values:

  • Integrity
  • Confidentiality
  • Impartiality
  • Trust

 Challenges

  • Delayed or non-response to audit queries
  • Inadequate transport and other logistics as the current fleet is aging
  • Inadequate IT equipment
  • Difficulty in retaining qualified and experienced members of staff leading to the OAG-Z incurring high training costs for new officers.