AUDIT OFFICE ACT, 2009
The objectives Of the Act
1) To establish an independent office of the Comptroller and Auditor-General as an office outside the Public Service
2) To provide for the administration of the office and the conditions of service for its members.
3) To provide for the additional functions of the Comptroller and Auditor-General
4) To establish the office of the Audit Office Commission and provide for its functions
5) To provide for the transfer of persons from the Public Service to the Audit Office
6) To amend section 3 of the Interpretation Act [Chapter 1:01] and Public Service Act [Chapter 16:04] and to provide for matters connected with or incidental to the foregoing
7) To provide for the funds of the Audit Office which consists of moneys from Parliament, donations and other fees and charges for services provided by the Audit Office
8) To provide for the establishment of the Audit Committee as well as the committee’s responsibilities, composition and functions.
Background of the Act
➢ Current Legislation
Audit and Exchequer Act Chapter 22:03; Treasury instructions
The Audit and Exchequer Act’s objective is to provide for the appointment, powers and duties of the Comptroller and Auditor-General and of his staff; to provide for the examination and audit of public accounts and the raising of surcharges; to make provision for the management and control of public moneys and State property and the protection and recovery thereof; to regulate and control the expenditures of certain statutory bodies and statutory funds and to permit the making of loans thereto .
The Audit and Exchequer Act Chapter 22:03 left the areas of responsibility between the Comptroller and Auditor General and the Treasury not so clear. There was need to clarify the roles and responsibility of management of public finance between the Auditor General and the Accountant General.
➢ Economic Environment
For the past ten years, the economic environment has been so difficult such that most workers had lost the culture of working. It is against this background that the Comptroller and Auditor General finds itself in need to restructure and change the mindset of its members so that it will be able to deliver to the nation. Furthermore the alleged gross mismanagement of state resources has called for a more powerful tool of the Government to stamp authority.
The Comptroller and Auditor General’s Office has been seen by many as a toothless bulldog. Tapiwa Mashakada,( Chairperson of the Public Finance Committee) in the Zimbabwe Independent of 6-12 November 2009 says “The committee came to the conclusion that although the constitution of Zimbabwe provides for the independent of the Comptroller and Auditor General, there is still more that needs to be done for the Audit Office to be able to realise such independence and supremacy in reality”
This was against the fact that the Special Report issued by the office recently , actually has no one looking at it, with the accused being left scot free, but instead, having members of the office being threatened. There is virtually no follow up to issues raised in this report.
➢ Appointment of staff
Initially the Audit office was a closed field. This was however changed and all members of the Comptroller and Auditor General became public servants. Due to lower remuneration, the office suffered brain drain as all qualified members left. This impacted negatively on the work of the Comptroller and Auditor General. At some instances the Office had to lower their entry requirements only to ensure that there is someone in office
The constitution of Zimbabwe (Section 105) provides for the appointment of an independent Comptroller and Auditor-General. The functions and responsibilities of the Comptroller and Auditor-General are spelt out in the Audit and Exchequer Act chapter 22.03.
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