ED not a Father Christmas to senior civil servants



No more expensive whiskies and groceries as ED cracks down on financial indiscipline

BIGWIGS in government will this year not be pampered with Christmas goodies, such as end of year hampers as the Finance ministry seeks to curb excessive spending.

In the past, civil service bureaucrats would be pampered with groceries and expensive whiskies on taxpayers’ money.

Senior Civil Servants to go thirst this Christmas as ED withdraws tax payers sponsored Glenfiddich gifts

Finance and Economic Development ministry secretary George Guvamatanga on Monday told State radio, Power FM, that government will this year do away with the end of year pampering of chefs to maintain fiscal discipline.

“Gone are the days when we would reward ourselves with a hamper. This year no government department is receiving any hampers. We are cutting down on expenditure. That is why President Emmerson Mnangagwa also directed ministries to cut down on foreign travel,” Guvamatanga said.

In the past, chefs in government offices have been accused of abusing State resources such as fuel and airtime, while also pampering themselves with exorbitant allowances according to Auditor-General Mildred Chiri’s reports.

Government departments have largely ignored her recommendations to stop abuse of government finances.

In her 2021 report of State enterprises and parastatals released this year, Chiri said most ministries and parastatals had been incurring unauthorised expenditure.

“While I appreciate the efforts made by government in the form of statutory/structural reforms, inter alia, enactment of the Public Entities Corporate Governance Act [Chapter 10:31], establishment of the Corporate Governance Unit in the Office of the President and Cabinet, Central Internal Audit Unit in the Finance and Economic Development ministry et cetera, most entities are yet to align their practices and policies with the provisions of the Act,” Chiri said in the report.

“As a result, governance issues were the most outstanding issues in this report. Out of 114 issues I am reporting; 81 relate to governance issues, while 33 relate to management of assets, revenue collection, employment costs and procurement.”

The AG reports have also revealed that government chefs have been over-pricing goods during procurement processes for self-enrichment.

As part of the modalities to end the rot in procurement, the Finance ministry ordered internal audits in government departments to review all running and future contracts after it emerged that the country has been losing millions of dollars through extortionists pricing by contractors.

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