Treasury is yet to fund all of the 46 government ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) because it is reviewing cash flows for the previous month.
However, authorities have disputed assertions that the delay will negatively affect service delivery from the MDAs, observing that the monthly funding allocation is normally not depleted to zero.
Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development Goodall Gondwe, in an interview yesterday, confirmed that the MDAs were yet to be funded, but referred the matter to Treasury.
He said: “Ask those people who are responsible as to when they will send the money. You can ask Secretary to the Treasury [Ronald Mangani] or budget director [Chauncy Simwaka], they should be in a position to know.”
Treasury spokesperson Nations Msowoya also confirmed that government was yet to fund its MDAs, but said this did not mean the agencies were crippled.
He said: “We have indeed not yet funded the ministries and departments since we review our cash flow requirements for the month. We will shortly be funding the ministries and departments.”
While Treasury is on record as having said it releases its funding mid month, Ministry of Health (MoH) Principal Secretary Macphail Magwira yesterday denied that health service delivery was suffering. He said MoH got its funding on April 1 2016.
“We are operating normally. For your information, there is no month government did not fund the ministry,” he said.
In a January 6 2016 statement, Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Development asked its MDAs to resume submitting monthly expenditure reports in line with the Public Finance Management Act of 2003.
Section 84(3) of the Public Finance Management Act requires controlling officers to submit the reports before getting the next tranche of funding.
Treasury said the requirement had been suspended following the introduction of the Integrated Financial Management Information System (Ifmis), government’s electronic payment system.
But after Cashgate—the plunder of public resources that forensic auditors say could have drained as much as K577 billion 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 April this year, Treasury reported improved compliance among MDAs which hit 86 percent on average from the previous 47 percent for the month of February.