Secretary to the Treasury Fredson Yamba has put in place measures to safeguard public property from being looted during the transition period.
Yamba later Friday afternoon addressed a forum of more than 250 Central Government and Public Sector Officials who met to agree on measures required to maintain economic stability and safeguard public resources and assets during the period of mourning and transition.
Yamba also disclosed that he had requested the Road Traffic and Safety Agency and the Controller of Government Transport to guard against attempts to temper with motor vehicle details such as change of ownership and to curb general misuse and abuse of motor vehicles and fuel.
According to a statement issued by Ministry of Finance spokesperson Chileshe Kandeta Yamba reminded the participants that as custodians of public resources and assets, they had a duty to maintain the confidence of the public through prudential management of funds and development of processes that will strengthen management of public resources and adherence to laid down procedure.
“We therefore need to collectively ensure that the economic fundamentals are maintained during this period as instability may be costly and take time to address. The Ministry of Finance and the Bank of Zambia will continue to monitor all economic parameters such as the exchange rate and the flow of foreign exchange to ensure that stability is maintained,” said Mr. Yamba.
“Misappropriation, misapplication and misuse of funds will not be tolerated. To avoid these vices, all Controlling Officers and Heads of Public Institutions should ensure that they strictly follow financial and asset management guidelines provided in the circular I have issued.
“I expect you to be alert to expenditure being undertaken by your institutions to avoid fraud and misappropriation of funds. The Accountant General and the Bank of Zambia will monitor all Inter-bank transfers to ensure that no funds are irregularly moved,” he disclosed.
“Our preparations for the 2015 budget approval process should remain on course to ensure that upon resumption of parliamentary sittings, all Ministries Provinces and Other Spending Agencies will be ready to provide policy statements and budget briefs to respective Ministers,” advised Mr. Yamba.
The Secretary to the Treasury also urged the delegates to ensure that all tender processes and contracts are operationalized in accordance with laid down procedure. He instructed them to strictly scrutinize applications for single sourcing, selective bidding, waivers and variations to contracts, and to ensure that requests presented to them were justifiable and authentic.
“Public Assets and funds under Public Institutions such as Parastatals, Projects and Grant Aided Institutions need to be properly secured. I therefore expect all heads of these Institutions to ensure that regulations governing the administration of funds and assets are strictly followed,” said the Secretary to the Treasury.
Mr. Yamba urged the participants to ensure that they maintain accurate asset registers for buildings, equipment such as motor vehicles, office equipment and other assets.
In closing the forum, Mr. Yamba re-emphasized that the best way to honor the departed President for his principled approach to financial discipline and prudential administration of public resources, was to ensure that there were no slippages in financial discipline during the transition period.
He reminded the Heads of Audit, Accounting and Procurement Units who were in attendance that they were functionaries of Controlling Officers and Chief Executive Officers had the duty to be professional and resolute in their duties to ensure a successful and fraud free transition.
The participants to the meeting which was held at the Government Complex in Lusaka were Permanent Secretaries and Other Controlling Officers, Heads of Law Enforcement Agencies, Heads of Service Commissions, Heads of State Owned Organisations and Parastatals, Heads of Government Accounting, Audit and Procurement Units, Representatives of the Bank of Zambia and the Zambia Revenue Authority.