S.C. 19, 2016
REPORT OF THE PUBLIC ACCOUNTS COMMITTEE ON
THE FINDINGS BY THE AUDITOR GENERAL ON
THE 2014 APPROPRIATION AND FUNDS ACCOUNTS FOR THE MINISTRY OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS
Presented to and debated and adopted by the National Assembly
Tuesday 4th October 2016
As part of its oversight mandate, the Public Accounts Committee examined the findings of the Auditor-General on the 2014 Appropriation Account for the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs; Attorney-General’s Office Administration Fund, 2013; Constituency Development Fund (CDF), 2010; Constitution Parliamentary Select Committee (COPAC), 2013; and the Deeds and Companies Office Fund, 2013. It is of great concern to the Committee that accounts for the Funds being administered by the Ministry were lagging behind which makes it difficult to follow up on some of the issues raised in the Audit Reports. Some of the officials might have either moved to some other Government departments or have left the service of Government thereby making it impossible to hold officials accountable for the use of public resources. The Committee is also concerned that the set of accounts for the CDF received a disclaimer opinion from the Auditor-General while the other sets received a qualified opinion. A disclaimer opinion means that there were significant uncertainties regarding the appropriateness of parts or all of the financial reports and this is the worst scenario case.
The Report, therefore, covers the findings raised by the Auditor-General on the Accounts, responses thereto by the Accounting Officer, observations and recommendations of the Committee. The Committee’s recommendations require the Ministry and other relevant authorities to take appropriate action within specified timelines.
2.0 OBJECTIVES OF THE ENQUIRY
Section 299 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment No. 20 of 2013 states as follows:
- Parliament must monitor and oversee expenditure by the State and all Commissions and institutions and agencies of Government at every level, including statutory bodies, Government controlled entities, provincial and metropolitan councils and local authorities, in order to ensure that-
- all revenue is accounted for;
- all expenditure has been properly incurred; and
- any limits and conditions on appropriations have been observed.
- to audit the accounts, financial systems and financial management of all departments, institutions and agencies of Government, all provincial and metropolitan councils and all local authorities.
National Assembly Standing Order No. 16 provides for the Public Accounts Committee to examine the sums granted by Parliament to meet public expenditure and such other accounts laid before the National Assembly.
It is therefore, the duty of the Public Accounts Committee to report whether such public funds have been managed and expended as authorised by Parliament. In this context, the Committee examined the Appropriation and Fund Accounts for the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs as reported by the Auditor-General in her Annual Report for the financial year ended December, 31, 2014