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71 councils fail to submit financial statements

Chikowore made the remarks yesterday during a two-day public sector convention of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Zimbabwe (ICAZ) held in Bulawayo.

ACTING deputy auditor-general Laiza Chikowore has revealed that 71 local authorities failed to submit their 2021 financial statements amid revelations that other four entities were three years behind in acquittals.

Chikowore made the remarks yesterday during a two-day public sector convention of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Zimbabwe (ICAZ) held in Bulawayo.

 “Non-submission of financial statements for audit (2021 State- owned enterprises report, 53 entities and  71 local authorities (have) not submitted financial statements, four entities had arrears of more than three years).

“Governance issues were the most outstanding issues for both local authorities and State-owned enterprises, 2021 Audit general report,” she said.

“Out of 114 issues, 81 related to governance issues, 33 related to management of assets, revenue collection, employment costs and procurement.”

Chikowore said challenges faced included the non-alignment of entities’ accounting processes with accounting standards, non-compliance with tax laws and regulations in respect of management benefits and board fees and allowances.

Other challenges flagged were poor contract management, mismanagement of assets, procurement irregularities, adoption of wrong procurement methods and poor record keeping such as unsupported expenditures.

“It also includes failure by most local authorities to account for infrastructure assets, land reserves and standing inventory in the financial statements. Councils were not practising effective solid waste management as they did not have engineered landfills and were using illegal dumpsites for their solid waste disposals,” Chikowore said.

She said State-owned enterprises and parastatals should embrace provisions of the Public Entities Corporate Governance Act.

ICAZ president Manyara Chigunduru said the public sector convention served as a crucial platform for discussing and addressing the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for the public sector.

“First and foremost, let us emphasise the importance of this convention. The public sector plays a vital role in our society, providing essential services and ensuring the smooth functioning of governments at various levels,” Chigunduru said.

"As countries evolve and embrace new economic and social challenges, it becomes crucial for public sector professionals to continuously upskill and adapt to changing environments.

“This convention provides a unique opportunity for us to come together, share knowledge, and collectively work towards enhancing the efficiency, transparency, and accountability of the public sector.”

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