Lusaka Province Permanent Secretary, Elias Kamanga says appearing before the Public Accounts Committee for mistakes made by technocrats is among the most unpleasant experiences for controlling officers.
Mr Kamanga said Permanent Secretaries, as controlling officers, get grilled as they take responsibility for the mistakes made by officers under their charge.
Speaking at the official opening of the Integrity Committee Workshop for the Ministry of Energy and Lusaka Provincial Administration in Kafue this morning, Mr Kamanga said civil servants need to ensure that they avoid audit queries by ensuring they follow all financial procedures.
He also noted that failure to follow public procurement and financial guidelines by departments may also lead to failure by controlling officers.
Mr Kamanga advised members of the Integrity Committee to assess operations of their departments’ corruption red flag and devise mitigation measures to develop an annual corruption prevention action plan which details steps to mitigate risk factors.
“The Integrity Committees are also supposed to facilitate development, review, and to internalize corporate governance practices and guidelines. They also need to follow-up queries from the Auditor General and other internal audit queries.” He said.
Mr Kamanga also stated that the formulation of Integrity Committees are mechanisms aimed at promoting proactive, preventive and pre-emptive interventions that enhance effective delivery of services.
“As civil servants, we are entrusted with the responsibility of presiding over public affairs and we are expected to do so with the highest levels of integrity. I believe the skills being acquired here will capacitate you to enhance the operations of the government on a day to day basis.” He said.
And Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Acting Director General, Rosemary Khuzwayo said improving management and efficiency in the delivery of public services is an essential element of any national strategy to reduce corruption and enhance good governance.
Ms Khuzwayo stated that few opportunities for corruption arise when public services are provided in an efficient and effective manner.
“This is so because citizens are no longer required to compete for scarce and inadequate services often by way of paying bribes,” she said.
She stated that the integrity of the members of committee and secretariat will be equipped with knowledge and skills required to execute their roles and responsibilities in their respective institutions.
The five day workshop which started on Monday drew participation from officers under the Ministry of Energy and Lusaka Provincial administration.