Workshops suspension timely
Published On December 23, 2021 » 2101 Views» By Times Reporter » Opinion
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PRUDENT management of public resources should be everybody’s priority, as one of the cost saving measures in the country.
Particularly, that Zambia is drowning in at least $12 billion in external debt, $2.1 billion to multilateral lending agencies and $2.9 billion commercial banks, among other debts, any wasteful resources should be avoided.
It is everyone’s responsibility to ensure that any economic planning of resources is encouraged in Government ministries, departments and State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) with public officers leading by example in stopping the mismanagement of funds.
The officers should be brave enough to introduce internal control systems within their area of responsibility and avoid expenditure.
We recall that Cabinet Office has in the past called for intensified pre-audits in all public institutions in order to achieve accountability and reduce wasteful expenditure of public resources.
It is in this line that we support the move by Ministry of Education Permanent Secretary Noriana Muneku to halt workshops for staff in the ministry so that resources are channeled to priority areas.
Appearing before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) in Lusaka, Ms Muneku says the action is meant to bring sanity to the ministry.
We observe that yesterday, the Permanent Secretary was appearing before PAC for the third day in a row to answer to the many audit queries raised in the Auditor General’s Report.
This is a clear indication that the ministry is marred with wasteful expenditure of resources and financial irregularities which should be stopped.
A further observation in the Attorney General’s report, Eastern Provincial Education Office in 2020 received 21,389 teaching and learning materials such as books, tools and balls for onward distribution to the districts and selected schools in the province and as at August 31, this year, only 7,019 items had been distributed.
The delay in delivering such education materials to schools could be avoided if officers considered priority areas because one of the reasons for failure to distribute the books, was due to inadequate resources.
It is therefore unfortunate that the Ministry of Education should have money for workshops but fail to allocate resources to distribute materials to schools.
This is not only happening at the Ministry of Education, as reports indicate that each Auditor General’s report published reveals financial mismanagement, a hindrance to development.
Government ministries/departments should cut down on such things and ensure prudent use of resources to stop the wasteful expenditure, and further introduce a robust plan that will ensure irregularities are curbed.

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