Parastatals pay for undelivered goods

05 Nov, 2023 - 00:11 0 Views
Parastatals pay for undelivered goods

The Sunday Mail

Emmanuel Kafe

SEVERAL State-owned enterprises paid millions of United States dollars for goods and services that were not delivered, the Auditor-General’s Office (AG) has revealed.

According to the AG’s latest report, for the financial year ending December 31, 2022, public entities also incurred crippling financial losses.

The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA), for example, suffered a $209 million (US$1,7 million) loss after buying 35 Toyota Hilux double-cab cars and 50 Toyota Corolla vehicles. While payment was made on February 24, 2022, only 15 Toyota Hilux vehicles were delivered and none of the Toyota Corolla vehicles had been received as of December 2022.

“The authority paid $209 million for procurement of 35 Toyota Hilux double-cabs and 50 Toyota Corolla vehicles on February 24, 2022. However, the supplier had delivered 15 of the 35 Toyota Hilux and none of the 50 Toyota Corolla vehicles,” says the report.

ZIMRA’s internal acquittal and clearance system for travel and subsistence was also red-flagged as being not watertight.

“As a result, the authority was owed a total of $73,8 million for travel and subsistence allowances by staff members as of December 31, 2022 . . .”

The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) was not spared after it disbursed US$345 918 for the procurement of 10 motor vehicles, yet only five were delivered.

Acting AG Mrs Rheah Kujinga indicated that ZACC also did not provide creditors’ reconciliations and she “was not availed with supporting documents to validate expenditure amounting to $353 472 (US$21 078 at that time)”.

“There were no invoices and or supplier statements to support the expenditure,” she added.

Managers at the National Social Security Authority (NSSA) were singled out for not taking into account the tax effect on allowances and benefits. As a result, the authority was grossing up school fees and fuel allowances for tax purposes.

“In addition, one of the managers was receiving a gym subscription of US$200, which was not part of the contract of employment and was processed outside the payroll.

“The manager also received a holiday allowance amounting to US$15 000 and a retention allowance amounting to $120 994, which was also processed outside the payroll net of tax. The tax thereof amounting to $80 663 was not remitted to ZIMRA,” claims the report.

Further, Air Zimbabwe was reported to have several aircraft that are not officially recorded in the asset register, while the Zimbabwe National Road Administration was rapped for issuing tollgates exemptions to board members without approval from the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development.

According to the report, some parastatals have gone for five years without submitting financial statements.

In fact, 21 have not been compliant since 2021.

“In this report are instances of weak oversight over internal controls as evidenced by unsupported expenditure, non-alignment of accounting policies and processes with reporting framework (accounting standards), non-acquittal of travel and subsistence allowances, inadequate controls on fuel management, non-performance of bank reconciliations and non-compliance with tax laws and regulations. I have reported 170 compared to 81 governance issues I raised in 2021,” said the acting AG.

 

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