By STEVEN ZANDE –
MANY public workers claim huge allowances for monitoring and evaluation visits but fail to produce reports upon returning while some do not even undertake the trips, Acting Secretary to the Cabinet Patrick Kangwa has said.
Now Mr Kangwa has directed the Accountant General to sensitise finance directors in ministries to stop approving allowances for officers who claim funds for monitoring and evaluation activities not supported by verifiable reports.
He said yesterday that monitoring and evaluation systems at different Government levels were weak and needed urgent strengthening if the Government’s developmental efforts were to bear fruit.
Mr Kangwa expressed concern that despite Government implementing robust measures to put into effect such programmes as the Seventh National Development Plan (7NDP) it would be difficult to achieve the aspirations in the absence of proper monitoring and evaluation.
He said this yesterday in Lusaka when he officially opened an orientation workshop for Permanent Secretaries on the upgraded Management Monitoring System (MMS).
“I want to send a warning…standing at the centre we know that we are undertaking trips; every PS is approving an M and E trip but we are not getting reports. People are getting the money but they are not giving us the reports.
“Despite this beautiful tool that we are developing here if there’s no mindset change, if we don’t start reporting for the trips we are making problems will continue,” Mr Kangwa said.
He said upgrading the MMS was among measures which demonstrated the Government’s desire to strengthen monitoring and evaluation systems to help realise national development objectives.
Mr Kangwa said establishment of the Management Information System was among other efforts meant to strengthen monitoring and evaluation of Government programmes and projects and promotes efficiency in public service operations.
Earlier, National Development Planning Ministry Permanent Secretary Mushuma Mulenga urged permanent secretaries to own processes in respective ministries for monitoring and evaluation to be effective.
Mr Mulenga said the demand for permanent secretaries to produce monitoring and evaluation reports was not meant to punish controlling officers but to help them perform according to expectation.
British High Commission and UKAID representative Cormal Qunn said the British government was a keen support Zambia to strengthen monitoring and evaluation.