Parastatals in default

via Parastatals in default – The Zimbabwean 15 April 2015

Parastatals continue to fail to submit annual accounts and reports on time, says parliamentary portfolio committee chair for public accounts, Paurina Mpariwa.

Zimbabwe has more than 70 parastatals covering health, environment, agriculture, mining, commerce, information, water, tourism, science and technology, energy, telecommunications and sports and culture.

All of them are lagging behind, with the National Social Security Authority (NSSA) being the only one that has managed to submit its accounts and reports for 2013.

“They are all trailing behind and this is a worrying trend. Outside NSSA whose latest submissions were in 2013, all the parastatals have backlogs dating back to 2010.

“In order to get to the bottom of the matter, we have been calling parastatal executives and board representatives to give oral evidence before our committee,” said Mpariwa.

Most of the parastatal representatives have blamed poor resources for failure to complete their reports in time, but Mpariwa blamed them for remaining silent instead of informing her committee and explaining the failure.

“These reports are critical for effective corporate governance so, at least the line ministries and us must be informed well in time about the problems the parastatals would be facing. In some cases, the excuses we have received are not tolerable,” added Mpariwa.

She said the quasi-government units generally had full boards in place. Her committee has recommended that the boards must comprise people with expert knowledge and must not sit in more than two organisations to guarantee effectiveness.

She singled out NSSA as one board that still did not have a board, saying respective line ministers must ensure that all the parastatals falling under them had operational boards.

Almost all the parastatals are operating at a loss, forcing the cash squeezed government to bail them out.

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 2
  • comment-avatar
    Whistle blower 7 years ago

    Well, part of the reason for this is that you have a lot of incompetent people working in the finance departments of these parastatals… So and so’s son, daughter, aunt, uncle, who have a diploma in finance and not very much else. Secondly, you expect a small, inefficient, poorly staffed Auditor General’s office to be able to perform the audits for 70 parastatals and be able to report on time?? There is no way this is going to happen! What is the solution? Well, firstly, you need to perform a skills audit and verify the qualifications of these Chief Accountants, Accountants and Finance executives in these parastatals. Confirm whether they did in fact get first class degrees from those little known Universities above fish and chip shops in London… Secondly, you need to employ the right people in these departments and place them on performance based contracts.One of the KPIs being the timely preparation of financial reports. Thirdly,you need to open the market for independent external Audit firms, who make it their business to audit, to audit these parastatals, using open tendering and bidding processes. The Auditor General will be responsible for the scheduling and reviewing of these independent audits,together with ensuring that fees charged by these independent firms are competitive.

    But, as with everything in our beloved country, things that make the most sense are never done… and transparency is something noone in government believes in. I mean, God forbid if these accounts were released. How on earth can we hide the fact that we were paying ourselves ridiculous amounts of money and being used as the private ATM of the minister(s)???? Heavens, No!!!

  • comment-avatar
    tonyme 7 years ago

    All these parastatals have ghost workers and rampant theft is draining all revenues. These guys can’t balance their accounts. Recent audits by the Auditor General discovered vast irregularities including missing receipt books. How can one balance accounts with no receipt books? It’s obvious why they have not submitted anything. Listen, all accountability starts from the top.