RBZ scam: AG’s of­fice ready to as­sist Govt with in­ves­ti­ga­tions

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page - Leonard Ncube in Vic­to­ria Falls

AU­DI­TOR Gen­eral Mrs Mil­dred Chiri has said her of­fice was ready to help Gov­ern­ment in­ves­ti­gate fi­nan­cial leak­ages at the Re­serve Bank of Zim­babwe (RBZ) if its ser­vices are re­quired.

Or­di­nar­ily, the Au­di­tor Gen­eral’s of­fice does not au­dit the Cen­tral Bank but con­cen­trates on pub­lic en­ti­ties and State-owned en­ter­prises.

The RBZ re­cently en­gaged au­di­tors to in­ves­ti­gate the ac­tiv­i­ties of four se­nior ex­ec­u­tives who were sus­pended over al­le­ga­tions of cor­rup­tion and il­le­gal for­eign cur­rency deal­ings.

Speak­ing at the 4th In­ter­nal Con­trol Congress for Africa at­tended by ac­coun­tants, au­di­tors and in­ter­nal con­trol spe­cial­ists in Vic­to­ria Falls, Mrs Chiri called for strength­en­ing of in­ter­nal con­trol sys­tems.

“As for the RBZ, author­i­ties are deal­ing with those is­sues. Gov­ern­ment and law en­force­ment agen­cies such as the anti-cor­rup­tion are best placed to deal with that as ours is to au­dit and point out symp­toms of such things.

“So, when our re­ports come out, the law will use them for in­ves­ti­ga­tions but for now should they need our as­sis­tance we are avail­able, we are at ser­vice to the na­tion,” said Mrs Chiri.

She said in­ter­nal con­trol sys­tems were im­por­tant in fi­nan­cial man­age­ment as they en­hanced trans­parency.

In­ter­nal con­trol is there to en­sure com­pli­ance with ap­pli­ca­ble laws and reg­u­la­tions and also with in­ter­nal poli­cies and keep­ing records so as to de­tect and pre­vent fraud and cor­rup­tion among other vices.

It fa­cil­i­tates ef­fec­tive op­er­a­tion by en­abling it to re­spond in an ap­pro­pri­ate man­ner to sig­nif­i­cant busi­ness, op­er­a­tional, fi­nan­cial, com­pli­ance and other risks. This in­cludes safe­guard­ing of as­sets and en­sur­ing that li­a­bil­i­ties are iden­ti­fied and man­aged in terms of the Pub­lic Fi­nance Man­age­ment Act, which talks of in­ter­nal con­trol re­spon­si­bil­i­ties of peo­ple and Gov­ern­ment in safe­guard­ing as­sets.

Mrs Chiri said if en­forced, the Act, to­gether with the Pub­lic En­ti­ties Cor­po­rate Gov­er­nance Act, which ad­dresses loop­holes in cor­po­rate gov­er­nance, will go a long way in ad­dress­ing de­fects in in­ter­nal con­trol sys­tems for the pub­lic en­ti­ties and state owned en­ter­prises.

She said in­ter­nal con­trol was pos­i­tive in terms of en­cour­ag­ing good cor­po­rate gov­er­nance and pre­vent­ing cor­rup­tion as it also looks at is­sues of boards for pub­lic en­ti­ties. In­ter­nal con­trol is in five cat­e­gories namely, ac­count­ing, ad­min­is­tra­tion, preven­tion, de­tec­tion and cor­rec­tion. — @ncubeleon

Mrs Mil­dred Chiri

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