The government has raised concern with the increased financial irregularities reported annually in the Auditor General’s Report. Secretary to the Cabinet Simon Miti says his office will not tolerate any more misuse of public resources, adding that this should come to a halt.
Dr Miti implored all senior government officials to ensure that high levels of integrity, morality, ethical and professional conduct, become an integral part of their operations, procurement and financial management processes.
In a speech read during the First 2021 Senior Public Service Management Virtual Meeting held today, Dr Miti said his office expects zero audit queries from all ministries, provinces and spending agencies, going forward.
“For the first time, the office has taken action against officers cited for financial irregularities in the Auditor General’s Report for 2019, in order to demonstrate our resolve to this cause,” he said.
ZANIS reports that Dr Miti has since directed all Permanent Secretaries to ensure that appropriate corrective and disciplinary action is taken immediately an offence is committed.
He added that Senior Government Officials are expected to follow procedure, guidelines and regulations provided in various legislations, in the discharge of duties.
Dr Miti indicated that the Cabinet Office will not protect anyone flouting or operating outside the laid down guidelines and procedures.
He further urged Senior Officials to underscore the importance of National Values and Principles that President Edgar Lungu highlighted when he addressed parliament on February 12, 2021 as they discharge their duties.
“To be senior managers in the public service should be seen as an honour and privilege, which should not be taken for granted. It comes with responsibilities and accountability to the people of Zambia,” he said.
The Secretary to Cabinet also reminded the Senior Government Officials of the concerns raised with regards to the slow pace of implementation of cabinet decisions, which were announced during the 7th meeting held in February 2020.
“The Concerns I raised included, improvement of non-tax revenue generation, land titling, consolidation of investment and empowerment funds, telecommunication traffic monitoring system for mobile service providers, youth empowerment, cannabis cultivation for medicinal and economic purposes and opportunities for gold mining and trade in Zambia,” he highlighted.
He said he expects to receive updates from respective PS’s on the progress made in implementing the programmes.
Meanwhile, Dr Miti urged Permanent Secretaries to be proactive, using the best available tools to ensure that the country is secure at all times.
He added that PS’s are supposed to be alert to unforeseen disasters affecting the country as it is their duty and responsibility.
He reiterated the importance of innovation and creativity under the “New Normal” in the provision of public service, such as utilization of virtual platforms.