By CHILA NAMAIKO –
SIXTEEN payment vouchers are missing at the Livingstone City Council amounting to K381,026 and were not availed for audit, contrary to the Local Authorities Financial Regulation No. 98 (1), the Auditor General’s latest report has revealed.
At the same council, 12 unsupported payment vouchers amounting to K584, 167 were not supported with relevant documents such as receipts, acquittal sheets and quotations among others.
This is highlighted in the report on review of operations of local authorities for the financial years ended December 31, 2014, 2015 and 2016.
On unretired accountable imprest, the report revealed that, amounts totaling K64,571 issued to various officers at the same local authority was not retired as at December 31, last year.
This was contrary to the Local Authorities Financial Regulation No.119.
It revealed that, contrary to the Cabinet Office Circular No. 11 of 2013 which banned the payment of administrative allowances, during the period under review, the Council paid K38, 345 to various officers as sitting allowances for attending procurement committee meetings.
The report stated that 19 officers were also paid K139, 000 as social holiday allowances during the period under review, but as at December 31, 2017, the amount was not recovered.
This was contrary to Ministry of Local Government and Housing Circular No. MLGH/101/8/4 of 2014, which abolished the payment of social holiday allowances.
Meanwhile, the report revealed that, although Chongwe Municipal Council deducted K8. 7 million as statutory contribution and Pay As You Earn (PAYE) from its employees’ remunerations during the period under review, the funds had not been remitted to the respective institutions as at December 31, 2016.
On outstanding staff’s obligation, a review of accounting and other records revealed that the local authority owed K3.8 million as of December that year, in respect of leave days, terminal benefits, long service bonuses and salary arrest to former and existing employees.
On review of operations, the council had an establishment of 241 positions out of which 89 were occupied and 152 were vacant as at October 31, 2017.
Out of the 152 vacant positions, some were key to the smooth running of the organisation such as chief internal auditor, group internal auditor, assistant internal auditor and stores controller.
The report also revealed that amounts totalling K4.6 million in penalties charged to 1,360 illegal settlers by Chingola Municipal Council on the Copperbelt for land regularisation, have not been collected as at December 31, last year.
The local authority carried out a land regularisation exercise to normalise illegal settlement in Kabundi East extension, Kabundi north extension and Kasompe.
However, an examination of planning, legal and financial records revealed that K4,602,500 in penalties charged to 1,360 illegal settlers for land regularisation was not collected as at that date.
During the period under review, the council allocated 67 plots in Gymkhana township to successful applicants from whom a total of K550, 740 were to be collected.