Government Accountant General Dr. Dick Chellah Sichembe has said the Ministry of Finance will no longer make Treasury Single Account payments to suppliers of goods and services who turn-up with manually generated purchase orders.
Dr. Sichembe stated that with effect from January 2018, manually generated LOCAL PURCHASE ORDERS (LPO’s) – that are handwritten – will not be entertained for TREASURY SINGLE ACCOUNT (TSA) payments at the Ministry of Finance.
“We are in a computer age, therefore, manually generated LPO’s will be rendered invalid,” said the Accountant General, adding that “henceforth, suppliers of goods and services to the Government will be expected ensure that they collect Electronically Generated Local Purchase Orders [LPO’s] from client Ministries and other Government Spending Agencies before seeking payments from the Ministry of Finance.”
Dr. Sichembe stated this in a notice that has been issued to all Ministries and Government Spending Agencies for onward communication to Suppliers of Goods and Services.
The Ministry of Finance has been implementing the Treasury Single Account System from 5th January, 2015, to date.
The Treasury Single Account (TSA) is an electronic payment system that aims to ensure that payments for goods and services are transferred electronically to the beneficiary’s bank account. Effectively, this system has negated the cheque payment system.
Dr. Sichembe has also clarified that all procurement processes and procedures will continue to be done by the respective Ministries and other Spending Agencies seeking a good or service.
He said that in this process, “the Treasury is only responsible for transmitting the payments on behalf of all Ministries and other Government Spending Agencies that are installed with an IFMIS interface.”
The Ministry of Finance is also working with the Zambia Revenue Authority to ensure that all suppliers and goods and services to the Government have Bank Accounts and TPIN’s.
Going forward, the Directorate of Treasury Services in the Ministry through respective Ministries and other Government Spending Agencies, will be running help desks to ensure that suppliers of goods and services are effectively sensitized on the electronic payment system in order to enhance transparency and accountability in the handling, management, and administration of public resources.
“I will also detail all accounting staff in the Government to be on the look-out and ensure that this new system succeeds by not passing any payment which is based on manually generated LPO’s,” stated Dr. Sichembe.
This is according to a statement issued by Ministry of Finance Public Relations Officer Chileshe Kandeta.