Minister of Finance Ken Lipenga said the government has introduced Integrated Financial Management Information System (Ifmis) to promote accountability in public finance.
Lipenga told journalists Thursday in Lilongwe that there are a number of weaknesses in the systems that have led to fraud and waste of resources.
“It is necessary to put in place additional control measures to prevent malpractice and protect public financial resources,” he said.
Lipenga said internal auditors will be required to preclear all payments above K500 000 (US$1,538) and the controlling officer will be required to ensure that these are for bonafide payments.
He explained that registers will be introduced to link funding and cheques issued and that all cheques over K500 000 must be deposited in the bearer’s account and commercial banks will be required to seek clearance from the Accountant General before money is released.
Lipenga said controlling officers or their designated senior officers will countersign cheques for their respective ministries and departments will be required to ensure that every expense is charged against an appropriate sub-item and that the sub-item does not exceed unless appropriate requirement authority is duly approved by the Secretary.
Said Lipenga: “Ministries, Department and Agencies will be advised of their funding instruction through a letter duly signed by the Secretary to the Treasury.”
He noted that controlling officers should adhere to the procurement rules and regulations as laid down in the Procurement Act (2003), saying all purchases will be required to be accompanied by an Ifmis generated Local Purchase Order (LPO) to ensure that funds are committed in the system.
“We will also have to consider whether weaknesses that have been highlighted can be addressed by upgrading the Ifmis systems or whether we should consider replacing Ifmis,” he added.—Mana