Treasury’s tough stance against ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) which fail to file monthly expenditure reports has pushed the demanded returns’ compliance rate to 86 percent on average.
The development is a strong step towards improving public finance management (PFM), currently tainted by fraud on the back of delayed reporting and reconciliations that hatched what came to be known as Cashgate.
Meanwhile, a relentless Treasury has warned the MDAs that it will continue demanding monthly expenditure reports and that those that do not comply risk foregoing their monthly allocations.
The warning comes after the February 2016 Financial Transaction Reports by MDAs, excluding subvented organisations, revealed that the reporting improved from 47 percent in January to 86 percent in February.
In an interview on Tuesday, Ministry of Finance spokesperson Nations Msowoya said Treasury will not relax.
He said: “The decision is a legal requirement and it will be enforced throughout. There will be no relaxation whatsoever.”
According to the February 2016 Financial Transaction Reports signed by Secretary to the Treasury Ronald Mangani, Treasury received 178 reports from all MDAs out of the expected 205 reports. This represents an overall compliance rate of 86.8 percent.
The update also observed that the reports were submitted within deadline.
For February 2016, Treasury withheld funding on 25 MDAs out of 46 for not submitting expenditure returns for January by the February 14 2016 deadline.
In a January 6 2016 statement, Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Development
86.8 said the requirement to submit monthly expenditure reports is part of the Public Finance Management Act of 2003 which had been suspended following the introduction of Integrated Financial Management Information System (Ifmis), government’s electronic payment system.
Section 84(3) of the Public Finance Management Act requires controlling officers to submit the reports before getting the next tranche of funding.
But after Cashgate—the plunder of public resources that forensic auditors say could have drained as much as K577 billion (about $867million) or around 30 percent of the national budget during the five years leading to December 2014—confidence in the system collapsed when its ease to fraudulent manipulation was discovered.
In the latest report, Mangani said funding for other recurrent transactions (ORT) depended on the submission of four reports, including revenue return, ORT expenditure return, ORT commitment return and ORT bank