Even then Mr. Speaker, because I had not found anyone to recommend, I again called her to my office in February this year and we had a two hour chat trying to persuade her to accept another six year term. After the two hours, she said yes. Then later, she texted me and I think she was embarrassed to tell me directly. She said no she wants a rest, she wants to give others a chance and so on. So, it is only then Mr. Speaker Sir that I went looking for a replacement.
Having given that explanation Mr. Speaker Sir, I hope that I have disposed the issue to do with firing. However, let me say that I have always, in my interaction with the Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee welcomed the comments by that Committee. I have also taken steps like I have advised this august House of measures that I am taking to address the concerns which are perennially raised in the Auditor’s report.
I constituted, with the help of the Public Service Commission like I said, two units under the Accountant General; one unit to peruse all financial statements of parastatals with a view to advising me on which enterprises are performing and which are not performing. I also constituted another unit dedicated solely to combing through the Auditor’s reports and see in what way do they agree, in what way do they disagree. Where they agree, we take measures to take to Cabinet so that corrective action is taken. Those two units now are established and I will be in a position to respond to the reports of the Auditor General in October this year.
I also realised that these Auditors reports are reflecting some weaknesses in the way we run our finances in Government. In other words, there are no systems, trained people and so on. I approached Public Service Commission to set up an internal audit department situated in my Ministry to take care of internal auditors in line Ministries.
Again after she refused to have the six year extension, I approached Mrs. Chiri to say I would want her to be head of the Internal Audit Department so that you can set or establish systems for Internal Auditors, as well as training them so that we do not always worry about the horse after it has bolted. We want to prevent that which is being complained about in the Auditor’s report. It must be prevented and not to act post-facto when all harm is done. As a result, I am happy to say that she agreed and we are in the process of setting up the Internal Audit department and I am proposing her as the head of that internal department.
I also want to say Mr. Speaker Sir, that in order to further strengthen the management of our finances, each Ministry is now establishing an audit committee, which will be chaired by a civil servant of principal director or director grade from another Ministry; not from that Ministry. In other words, the audit committee of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development which will be set up will be chaired by someone from Women’s Affairs or Youth Affairs and so on. Already Mr. Speaker Sir, 18 line Ministries have already established their committees and we are yet to go and establish ten other committees.
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