The European Union (EU) has advised Treasury to seal leaks in public finance management system to stop wastage of taxpayers’ money that is denying the citizenry deserved development and economic growth.
EU Ambassador Sandra Paesen said this yesterday in Lilongwe during the signing ceremony of the five-year 22 million euros (about K17. 9 billion) Chuma Cha Dziko Public Finance Management Support Programme with Treasury.
Out of the money, 8.7 million euros (about K 7 billion) is for technical assistance.
In her remarks, Paesen said past support has improved the expertise and now time has come to focus on the impact and how things are done differently.
She said there is need to move away from the reform on paper to reform in processes in behaviour and performance.
Paesen said the financial support focuses more on human change aspect and on the underlying political economy.
She said: “In order for this programme to be successful, we would like to ask you the
Minister of Finance, to set the marching order, to set the tone for change and to lead the path of reform; rewards-based merits, sanctions for non-compliance and transparency and accountability regarding all public funds.”
On his part, Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development Joseph Mwanamvekha said time for stealing through the payroll system is over as government has tightened the payroll and approval systems.
He said: “We have put a number of strong measures to deal with wastage. Firstly, nobody will be paid unless we have in the system the national identity, all employees on the payroll must have a national ID as a starting point.
“We have reconciled the number of employees on the human resources payroll and the actual number of people being paid at the Accountant General’s office. We noticed that there were many people who were being paid at the Accountant General than those on the human resources payroll, so we have reconciled the names.”
The minister said Treasury has also strengthened payment authorisation processes between ministries, Treasury and Accountant General’s office and warned that government will bring all corrupt culprits to book.
The main objective of the Chuma Cha Dziko Public Finance Management Support Programme is to achieve efficient and effective use of public resources to contribute to the growth of the economy and development of Malawi.
The programme is set to improve tax administration through interventions in revenue policy and tax administration to increase fiscal space for financing inclusive growth and development. It will also support the implementation of Malawi’s Public Finance Management Rolling Plan with a focus on mitigating expenditure risks in public procurement, payroll, pension management and contingent liabilities in parastatals, among others.