Ministries Under Scrutiny For Wastages

The Ministry of Nationality, Immigration and Gender Affairs PIC: MORERI SEJAKGOMO
The Ministry of Nationality, Immigration and Gender Affairs PIC: MORERI SEJAKGOMO

The Ministry of Nationality, Immigration and Gender Affairs has come under scrutiny for failure to account for funds allocated under the Women Economic Empowerment Programme.

A recently released report by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of its 58th meeting showed there were loopholes under the scheme. It identified the main areas of non-compliance as: “the recoupment of assets for failed projects was not effected; funding to beneficiaries was not done in phases in accordance with the implementation plan as required; books of accounts were not prepared and furnished to the department 30 days after utilisation of the initial funding for all the files that were sampled”. Equally, the report stated that: “....project teams could not avail project appraisal reports even though the guidelines provided that all project proposals be appraised to determine market availability, projected profitability, sustainability and prospects for growth.” The objective of the programme is to promote women economic empowerment to alleviate poverty and create employment through small-scale business enterprises. As a remedy, the PAC recommended that considering the amount of money that the government puts into the programme, the Ministry should ensure that funds allocated are fully accounted for.

The committee stated that this could be achieved by following financial support guidelines and providing for proper monitoring of these projects. The revelations come after the Auditor-General carried out an audit to establish whether the objectives of the programme were being achieved and if the guidelines for financial support were being followed. Meanwhile, the Auditor-General has made observations under the Food Relief Services in the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development.

The office noted that there were many instances of shortages of food supplies. This was exacerbated by the absence of regular contracts and supplier failure, inadequate storage facilities due to improper handling and rodents’ infestation resulting in the write-off of food items. Other bottlenecks included failure by depot managers to promptly deal with defective items upon receipt of the goods thus forgoing the opportunity to claim a refund or replacement and instances of food items being returned to depots for reasons of spoilage without any supporting documentation.

There were supply failures identified with no timely action taken to redress the situation to ensure continuity of supply of food items and instances of consignments from the depot never reaching the feeding centres. Following the discoveries, the ministry was implored to have regular contracts to address supply disruptions and ensure that storage facilities are of adequate quality to reduce wastage that comes at a cost to the government. It was also advised that monitoring of depots should be strengthened to ensure proper recording and management of supply items.

Editor's Comment
What about employees in private sector?

How can this be achieved when there already is little care about the working conditions of those within the private sector employ?For a long time, private sector employees have been neglected by their employers, not because they cannot do better to care for them, but because they take advantage of government's laxity when it comes to protecting and advocating for public sector employees, giving the cue to employers within the private sector...

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