- We expected Treasury to fund meeting—MP
Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has learnt with shock that Treasury has not funded a meeting to scrutinise the preliminary report into the forensic exercise of the government’s accounts dating back to 2009.
The data analysis report compiled by audit and business advisory firm PricewaterHouseCoopers (PwC) titled Final Analysis Report: Reconstruction of the Malawi Government Cashbook for Purposes of Further Investigation showed that K577 billion cannot be accounted for in the government’s bank statements between 2009 and December 2014.
The report was tabled in Parliament and referred to PAC for further scrutiny and analysis before reporting back to the House.
But PAC chairperson Alekeni Menyani said the report was not on their programme and was unlikely to be discussed because Treasury has not funded the exercise.
“PAC will not discuss the ‘K92 billion’ report. The nation, therefore, and Parliament should not expect any report in November [when Parliament is scheduled to reconvene]. Treasury has not made any money available for such an undertaking,” Menyani said at the weekend.
Instead, the programme for the committee before the November meeting indicates that Treasury minutes from nine years ago and audits for local councils will be on the table.
The committee is expected to meet in September.
“We expected Treasury to fund this meeting [on the forensic audit report] as it came after our schedule but that is not happening,” he said.
However, Treasury spokesperson Nations Msowoya said Parliament would eventually arrange meetings for committees.
The analysis report has given a picture that massive looting took place in the five-year period, shared between the administrations of Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and People’s Party (PP).
The analysis of various ministries and government departments found that 88.6 percent of the payments in the five year period (about K1.2 trillion) were on the cashbook while 13.4 percent (about K217 billion) could not be reconciled.
However, Auditor General Stephenson Kamphasa has said it was too soon to establish the exact amounts stolen, but a forensic audit to be carried out within 10 months would get to the bottom of the theft.
A similar forensic audit covering April to September 2013 found that K24 billion could not be accounted for in the government’s accounts.
PwC, with funding from the German government, is conducting the forensic audit.