The Danish government has given the auditor general’ office DK (Danish currency) 3.5million, about over K3 billio for the recruitment of 15 officers.
Danish Ambassador to Zambia Thomas Schjerbeck said at the signing ceremony in Lusaka that despite the financial crisis which is not yet over, his country will not hesitate to provide financial assistance that helps promote good governance and proper financial management in its partner countries.
Auditor General Annie Chifungula thanked the Danish Embassy for the financial support to meet most of the challenges her office was facing.
She said her office will endeavor to utilize the funds for the intended purpose as stipulated in the signed agreement and ensure that the office delivers to the sponsor’s and other stakeholder’s expectation just as it has always done.
She further said the office of the Auditor General continues to face challenges of resource and time constraints.
Ms. Chifungula said it has not been easy for her office to rise to the challenge of meeting the increased demand of service especially in the midst of the financial crisis and other resource limitations.
“My office still has a total number of 169 staff vacancies even o be able to meet all the planned activities. These vacancies could have been filled in within this year as the last phase of the restructuring exercise but could not because of inadequate funds”, she said.
The Auditor General (AG) Anna Chifungula has disclosed that her office has been receiving various requests from a broad spectrum of its stakeholders for it to carryout specific audits.
Ms Chifungula says though the Zambian constitution provides that the AG’s office shall not be directed in doing its work owing to the increased relevance of its work in the governance of the nation as well as in financial management, there has been various request for the office to carryout specific audits.
She said some of its stakeholder’s requesting for AG’s office for specific audits includes the Executive arm of Government, Investigative wings of Government such as the Anti Corruption Commission (ACC), cooperating partners and some sectors of society.
“Therefore the challenge we face is to strike a balance in meeting these requests and maintain our relevance and to ensuring that we are not effectively being directed, contrary to the constitution”, she said.
The Auditor General said her office was mindful of the essence of its existence and the criticality of maintaining its relevance in the accountability process of public resource management.
Ms Chifungula said it was for this reason that her office has been able to adjust its work plans and carry out some more work as demanded by the many of its stakeholders including specific requests from cooperating partners.