The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the just-dissolved Parliament has been forced to work on reports to the National Assembly even after rejecting a forensic audit report which discovered losses amounting to K13 billion (US$3 1941 032) and another interim report into the theft of K92 billion (US$226 044 226.04) in public funds between 2010 and 2011.
PAC chairperson Beatrice Mwangonde said in an interview on Friday that the committee adopted the reports in the end after resolving that their colleagues in the National Assembly would need reports of the meetings in the next Parliament.
She said: “It became very important to conclude business despite never having looked at the full reports. We moved a motion adopting the reports because we want to see it presented to [the next] Parliament.”
Mwangonde said the committee decided that it would be unfair for the nation not to know what has transpired since revelations that money was carelessly looted from government coffers last September.
She said it was the duty of the committee through its oversight mandate to table the report before Parliament for the benefit of all members.
“If Parliament is called anytime soon, we want these reports tabled, but also for the sake of continuity, we need to get to the bottom of this matter and it is my hope that even if Parliament does not meet, the reports will be forwarded to the next Parliament after the May 20 2014 Tripartite Elections.
Besides the two reports, PAC plans to forward an additional report of its meetings with various stakeholders who included former Ministry of Finance budget director Paul Mphwiyo, the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB), former auditor general and the former accountant general.
The forensic audit, carried out on behalf of the National Audit Office (NAO) by a British firm Baker Tilly, found that K13 billion was lost from government coffers through various means, among them, siphoning hard cash using private companies between April and September last year.
The K92 billion audit into the Central Payment System, which NAO carried out commissioned by the Treasury, has met with resistance from members of Parliament (MPs) who were in Cabinet at the time because it lacked details of perpetrators.