Finance Minister Dr Bwalya Ng’andu has appointed a new board of the Financial Intelligence Centre, replacing the one led by Mr John Kasanga.
In a statement released to the media, Minister of Finance, Dr. Bwalya Ng’andu said President Lungu has appointed a new board for the Financial Intelligence Center in accordance with Section 6G of the FIC ACT number 46, of 2010. He said the appointments come at the back of the end of tenure of the previous board in January, 2019.
Dr. Ng’andu thanked Dr. John Kasanga, for his contribution as interim board chair.He also thanked the other members of the previous board for their tireless efforts in furtherance of the objectives of the FIC.
The new members appointed by the President are:
1. Hon. Justice Prisca Matimba Nyambe, SC
2. Ms. Pelagia Kalunga
3. Dr. Mike B. Goma
4. Ms. Regina Kasonde Mulenga
5. Mr. George Chilengwa Siame
The new FIC board chairperson is Mr. George Chilengwa Siame. Dr.Ng’andu congratulated the new board on their deserved appointments.
Dr.Ng’andu advised the new board that corporate governance requires that the board of directors limit their roles to policy oversight and leave operational matters to the employees of the institution.
“As non-executive board, you need to ensure that you do not interfere with the operations of the institution,”he said.
The role of the FIC
Dr.Ng’andu outlined the FIC as an independent and autonomous government institution under the Ministry of Finance. He said the core function of the FIC is to receive and analyse financial transactions reports bordering on suspected money laundering, terrorist financing and proliferation submitted to it by accountable institutions.
The Financial Intelligence Centre is a statutory body established under the Financial Intelligence Centre ACT no 46 of 2010 (as amended by ACT no. 4 of 2016).
The FIC is 100% funded by the Ministry of Finance. There are no external funds that come to the centre. This underscores the resolve of the government to strengthen the centre as part of the process to ensure its integrity.
The roles of the board
Dr.Ng’andu said the new board have a duty to uphold the operational independence of the Institution, as this is one of the requirements by the International Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the financing of terrorism standards on the operation of the Financial Intelligence units.
The following are the roles of the board:
• Monitor and review the administrative performance of the centre in the carrying out of its functions under the ACT;
• Approve policies for the proper administration and management of the centre;
• Review the implementation of cooperation agreements between the centre and domestic or foreign designated authorities;
• Consider and approve the proposed budget of the centre; and,
• Perform such other functions as are necessary to give effect to this act.
Coordinative role of the FIC among National AML Institutions
Dr. Ng’andu reiterated that the FIC is the secretariat of the National Anti-Money Laundering/Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) task force of senior officials which is chaired by the Ministry of Finance. They coordinate domestic, regional and international AML/CFT matters and latitude should be accorded to them to ensure the country is not lagging in implementing (AML/CFT) standards. So far, he said they have done extremely well by coordinating the recent mutual evaluation for Zambia.
International Accreditation of the FIC
In September 2018, the FIC was admitted as a member of EGMONT group, following a rigorous assessment by the international community on anti-money laundering/countering the financing of terrorism, as to whether the FIC was operating in line with the international standards. Zambia’s application to become a member of EGMONT group as required by the global anti-money laundering/countering the financing of terrorism standards commenced in 2014. Over the years, Zambia underwent several rigorous assessments to determine the country’s readiness for membership which assessments have yielded positive results. The government therefore expects the board to continue with initiatives that embellish Zambia among countries with best practice in Financial Intelligence.