Govt au­di­tors in dou­ble dip­ping storm

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Leonard Ncube Vic­to­ria Falls Re­porter

GOV­ERN­MENT au­di­tors as­signed to in­spect schools coun­try­wide are re­port­edly dou­ble dip­ping as they get paid by in­di­vid­ual schools for their ser­vices de­spite be­ing on na­tional duty with fully paid travel and sub­sis­tence al­lowances.

School heads at­tend­ing the Na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion of Pri­mary Heads (Naph) con­fer­ence in Vic­to­ria Falls yes­ter­day al­leged that they were be­ing made to pay about $250 to a team of au­di­tors when­ever it vis­its schools.

The head­mas­ters raised con­cern over the dou­ble dip­ping soon af­ter a chief in­ter­nal au­di­tor in the Min­istry of Pri­mary and Sec­ondary Ed­u­ca­tion Mr Nicholas Shuva pre­sented a pa­per on crit­i­cal fi­nan­cial su­per­vi­sion skills.

“Who should pay au­di­tors for au­dit­ing schools? Each time they come to our schools we are asked to pay them for their ser­vices.

“Don’t they have their own travel and sub­sis­tence al­lowances be­cause pay­ing them is like pay­ing po­lice to mount a road block?” quizzed one head­mistress.

There was de­bate on the is­sue as school heads de­manded clar­ity on whether they should pay. An­other head­mas­ter said: “Au­di­tors and district schools in­spec­tors (DSIs) are both Gov­ern­ment work­ers but why should au­di­tors be paid while DSIs don’t de­mand any­thing.

“We are forced to pay $250 and you can imag­ine how much they get from say 100 schools they can visit in a district.”

Par­tic­i­pants said they had no problems pay­ing pri­vate au­di­tors but were fail­ing to un­der­stand why Gov­ern­ment of­fi­cers who are on the state’s pay­roll get money from schools.

An au­di­tor in the Ed­u­ca­tion Min­istry, Mr Mla­muli Moyo, said if ever some au­di­tors were de­mand­ing or ac­cept­ing money from schools, that was not al­lowed.

“What you are pay­ing for is not for au­dit­ing but for their up­keep. Their up­keep in­cludes lunch, sup­per and ac­com­mo­da­tion.

“Au­di­tors are paid by the Pub­lic Ser­vice and some­times schools are only asked to fa­cil­i­tate an ad­min­is­tra­tion fee,” said Mr Moyo.

“There seems to be a mis­un­der­stand­ing which I think em­anated from the way the in­for­ma­tion was dis­sem­i­nated.

“The whole is­sue started when mis­sion schools of­fered to pay some­thing to be au­dited but in essence no school is ex­pected to pay for the au­di­tors.”

He added: “Au­di­tors aren’t sup­posed to get any money. What you only in­cur is for their up­keep and if they are de­mand­ing any money that can’t be con­doned. Their al­lowances should go through the district of­fices.”

Act­ing Per­ma­nent Sec­re­tary in the Min­istry of Pri­mary and Sec­ondary Ed­u­ca­tion Mr Josephat Mu­da­vanhu said he will for­ward the head­mas­ters’ con­cerns to the min­istry to deal with the mat­ter.

Gov­ern­ment in­sti­tuted an ex­ten­sive au­dit of its schools coun­try­wide af­ter it was re­alised that they had gone for years with­out their books be­ing checked, amid al­le­ga­tions of abuse of funds — @ncubeleon.

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