via Govt to introduce new audit systems – NewsDay Zimbabwe September 1, 2015 by Obey Manayiti
GOVERNMENT will soon introduce a raft of new audit systems in parastatals to plug holes and stop revenue leakages, NewsDay has learnt.
Finance, Economic Planning and Investment Promotion secretary Desire Sibanda told stakeholders attending the inaugural summer school on mineral resource governance in Harare yesterday that legislators would also be roped in to ensure they effectively play their oversight role.
“Government is working on introducing effective audits or value for money audits of State-owned enterprises including those operating in the extractive industries sector,” Sibanda said.
“These audits focus on effectiveness achieving results. Such audits include Parliamentary accountability. That is Parliament should take serious interest in what happens in the extractive industries sector.
“Parliament and its portfolio committees should scrutinise the performance of these institutions more than what is happening now and call the Executive to account,” he said.
Sibanda added that there is need to create a special State audit body that is all inclusive for the extractive sector as well as a specialised committee of Parliament to assist legislators in debating effectively.
He said the auditors in the extractive sector would be capacitated to promote accountability while the Auditor General’s office would also be resourced to effectively curb leakages of revenue and mineral resources.
“We should ensure that the Auditor-General staff and public auditors are well paid and well-motivated to promote such public financial accountability. Currently because of low pay in government we are unable to attract high level auditors to promote accountability in the extractive industry sector,” said Sibanda.
He also said there was need to structure world class incentives to attract Foreign Direct Investment.
Speaking at the same event, ZELA director, Mutuso Dhliwayo said the summer school was meant to strengthen the capacity of Parliament, civic society organisations, local government officials, journalists and host communities.
He said the summer school will be used as a platform to share and exchange experiences on effective monitoring of the extractive sector as well as critiquing traditional models that have been used to govern the sector.
The summer school is a brainchild of the Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association (ZELA).