Zimref mission jets in to plug leakages

A ZIMBABWE Reconstruction Fund (Zimref) mission is in the country to support the implementation of the Public Financial Management Enhancement Project (PFMEP), which seeks to improve financial reporting, internal controls, fiscal transparency and accountability in government finances in Zimbabwe.

BY NDAMU SANDU

The team, led by World Bank senior financial management specialist, Daniel Yaw Domelevo, began work on Monday and its mission ends tomorrow.

The mission also has World Bank specialists in public financial management reform, financial management information systems, internal and external audit, Afrec communications officer, Cheryl Khuphe told NewsDay yesterday.

Khuphe said the mission will provide implementation support and review progress on project implementation and financial management.

“The project will also help to expand and extend Zimbabwe’s financial management system IFMIS [integrated financial management information system] to some district offices, strengthen the regulatory framework for internal controls and provide support to demand side accountability institutions in Parliament and civil society,” she said.

During its visit, the mission will meet with representatives from the Finance and Economic Development ministry, Office of the President and Cabinet, Public Accounts and Auditor’s Board, Project Management Unit and the Auditor General’s office.

PFMEP has five components.

Financial Management and Accounting seeks to improve financial reporting, strengthen fiscal controls and enhance financial transparency; enhance effectiveness of internal controls and internal audit, aims to strengthen internal oversight and controls by enhancing effectiveness of internal audit to ensure compliance with rules and regulations and contribute to effective service delivery outcomes.

It also aims to enhance accountability through strengthening of external audit.

This is done through strengthening the office of the Auditor-General to deliver high quality audit products.

PFMEP seeks to strengthen the demand side of transparency and accountability by enhancing Parliament’s role in public financial management, including increased collaboration with other demand-side actors.

The last component of PFMEP is the provision of administrative and operational structure for the seamless management and coordination of implementation of project activities by the various component managers.

The visit by the Zimref mission comes as Zimbabwe is tidying its house to plug the leakages and ensure that resources are efficiently used.

It also comes when there has been serious reforms to revamp the procurement system in government departments, parastatals and state-owned entities and local authorities.

Amendments to the Public Finance Management Act were recently signed into law by President Robert Mugabe allowing public entities and statutory funds’ accounting officers to ensure that there are systems in place for planning, allocating, budgeting and reporting on the use of public resources and that public resources were safeguarded against loss.

PFMEP is a $20 million recipient-executed project under Zimref.

Zimref is a multi-donor trust fund, which is managed by the World Bank and has received pledges and financial commitments of $40,4 million from the European Union, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, UK and the World Bank’s State and Peace Building Fund.

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