A GOVERNMENT audit report for the year 2011 that was tabled in Parliament last week has revealed that most State enterprises and parastatals practised bad corporate governance and had weak financial controls, a situation which could have cost the economy large sums of money.
VENERANDA LANGA, SENIOR PARLIAMENTARY REPORTER
The report by the Comptroller and Auditor-General (C&AG) noted that most State enterprises and parastatals operated without boards and flouted tender procedures, while some of them kept a lot of cash at their premises risking robberies.
“My audit revealed that some public entities/designated corporate bodies were operating without boards or had poorly constituted boards and in some cases the boards were unbalanced in terms of skills mix and in the majority of cases they lacked financial expertise and as a result they operated without audit committees and at times where they existed they were not very effective,” reads the C&AG report.
“Some of these entities were operating without strategic plans, and in the absence of such plans it was difficult to independently assess service delivery of these organisations and I noted a number of these entities did not have a performance-management system in place.”
The auditors observed that Allied Timbers (Pvt) Ltd used cash to settle its obligations, risking robbery and theft.
“The company used cash to pay most of its obligations like salaries and wages, payments to local suppliers, and furthermore, large amounts of cash were kept at the company’s premises risking robbery and theft, and misappropriation of cash resources by virtue of the company holding large amount of money,” said the report.
The Central Mechanical Equipment Department, which services government vehicles, is alleged to have lost $146 940 worth of fuel through fraudulent claims by its employees.
“The loss was composed of 58 000 litres of petrol and 72 000 litres of diesel. The employees were discharged, but nothing was recovered.”
The National Railways of Zimbabwe’s current liabilities had by December 2011 exceeded current assets by $16 933 762, while the net loss incurred was $46 027 306 and $24 403 787 for 2011 and 2010, respectively.
The National Social Security Authority reportedly incurred heavy losses through double payment of executive directors’ sitting allowances.
The accounting transactions of the Zimbabwe Institute of Public Administration and Management of 2011 were said to be altered and cash payments that were made led to theft and misappropriations.
“Among the vouchers examined for the period under review 87 vouchers were altered by adding a figure either to the left or to the right of original figure after the voucher had been processed. The total amount involved was $123 761,” reads the report.