Chief immigration officer Masauko Medi has said government is yet to clear arrears the department owes its passport suppliers, a development that is negatively affecting efficiency and effectiveness of service delivery.
Medi said this on Saturday evening at College of Medicine Sports Complex during the department’s end of year party.
In his address to staff, he outlined successes and challenges his office experienced in the year ending.
Said Medi: “We hope government will settle all the arrears in 2016 and when this is done, it will help us to be effective and efficient. There have been discussions and I am happy to say that the Auditor General has consented and written a certificate to verify the arrears and TechnoBrain has been cleared by Anti-Corruption Bureau [ACB]. Now it is just the responsibility of the Treasury to pay the arrears. So, I would say soon government will rescue us from this.”
In an interview with The Nation in August, Medi said his office owed suppliers of books and other materials about $13 million (about K7.1 million at the then exchange rate) and this almost grounded the issuance of passports. In addition, this created fears that the department would not meet its target of collecting K4.2 billion (about $6.3million) in the current financial year against a budget of K468 million in the 2015/16 financial year.
On Saturday, he also challenged that the corruption rate at the department has declined and a number of staff caught in corruption activities are on interdiction.
Medi said he is building up a team that will demonstrate only expertise and efficiency to the activities of the department. n