SC 2014 - Report of the Public Accounts Commitee on the Examination of the Appropriation Accounts for the Ministry of Agriculture for the year ended 31st Dec, 2011

Presented to Parliament in May 2014

INTRODUCTION

The Report of the Auditor General for the financial year ending on 31 December 2011 was tabled in Parliament in November 2013 in terms section 12 (2) of the Audit Office Act [Chapter 22:18}. As provided for in Standing Orders No. 63 of the National Assembly Standing Orders, the Committee examined the Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development on the observations made by the Auditor General on the Ministry's accounts for the financial year ended 31st December 2011.

Generally, the Auditor General in three successive years from 2009 had been issuing a disclaimer of opinion on the Ministry's accounts, a state of affairs which implies that there was fundamental lack of documentation to an extent that an audit opinion could not be expressed. This was largely attributed to breakdown of the Public Finance Management Systems (PFMS). The Auditor General raised 14 observations on the Ministry's accounts for 2011. The Committee was concerned to note that most of the observations had been recurring since 2009 which is an indication that the Auditor General's reports are not being taken seriously by the Ministry. This Report, therefore, is a summary of the Committee's findings, observations and recommendations on the Ministry's accounts for 2011 for adoption by the House.

OBJECTIVES OF THE COMMITTEE

In carrying out an examination on the Ministry's accounts, the Committee sought to fulfill the provisions of section 299 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe which mandates Parliament to carry out oversight over the management of resources and in specific terms to satisfy itself that all revenue is accounted for; all expenditure has been properly incurred; and any limits and conditions on appropriations have been observed. Over and above these objectives the Committee also compels the Ministry to take corrective action and put in place mechanisms to prevent recurrences in future, as a matter of urgency.

METHODOLOGY

The Committee received oral evidence from the Secretary for Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development and officials from the Ministry. It requested documentary supportive evidence of action taken to address audit observations that were analysed by the Office of the Auditor General and considered by the Committee. The Committee also tasked the Office of the Auditor General to conduct a fact finding visit to the Ministry's offices in relation to some building materials that were observed as wasteful expenditure and a wreckage of a vehicle that was involved in an accident and written off without following laid down procedures. The Committee also appointed a team of three Members who conducted a verification visit in relation to the accident damaged vehicle. The Committee deliberated on the evidence gathered and produced this report with recommendations that need to be implemented by the Ministry.

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