Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has raised eyebrows over some financial transactions at the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) during the financial year ending June 30 2019 and urged the bureau to lead by example in public finance management.
The observation was made yesterday when the ACB appeared before the committee at Parliament Building in Lilongwe to answer questions on an audit report in relation to financial transactions worth about K206 million for the financial year in question.
The audit report faulted ACB for acquiring assets worth about K147.8 million which were not recorded in the fixed assets register, fuel worth about K25.7 million not recorded in the fuel ledger, payments worth about K10.3 million without supporting documents, stores items worth K2.2 million not delivered by the time of the audit.
The bureau was also failed to produce payment vouchers amounting to K20 million for audit inspection.
But the ACB team said the institution already addressed the issues the audit raised on the transactions.
PAC vice-chairperson Ned Poya said ACB needs to be exemplary because of the nature of its work.
He said: “We hope that in the 2020-2021 report they will not come to PAC. As ACB, they are supposed to be a good example [to others]. When they are going after others, they should ensure that they are perfect. There is a lot that has to be done so that they are perfect. If they can improve, we hope they will not come again here.”
However, Poya said there is improvement in financial management at ACB and hoped that the body will not appear again before PAC for such audit queries.
ACB deputy director Elia Bodole said all the audit report queries were addressed.
He said failure to provide documentation for the transactions was mostly due to poor filing of records, adding that the bureau later provided the Auditor General’s office with documents for the transactions.
Bodole said: “We are an accountability institution, but our finance department is like any other finance department. The accountant you will find at ACB is like any accountant you would find anywhere else. His accounting would not be exceptionally different because he is at ACB.
“These queries happen in any other institution but what we do is make sure there is no fraud going on and even the accounting documents are properly filed.”
On items not being delivered after being paid for, he said the items were later delivered.
Bodole said the bureau will now be strict in ensuring delivery of purchased items.
PAC provides oversight on public finance management and engages various government ministries, departments and agencies on queries raised by auditors.