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SOEs, parastatals bleed Treasury

by Staff reporter
26 Oct 2023 at 06:42hrs | Views
State-owned enterprises (SOEs) and parastatals have suffered significant financial losses, totaling millions of US dollars, due to procurement scams where suppliers received prepayments but failed to deliver the goods or services, according to a report by NewsDay Business. The State-owned Enterprises and Parastatals Auditor-General's report for the year ended December 31, 2022, highlights a significant increase in the number of issues related to non-delivery of goods in the procurement process, rising from 13 in 2021 to 20 in the report.

For instance, the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority paid ZWL$209 million (US$1.685 million) for the procurement of 35 Toyota Hilux double cab cars and 50 Toyota Corolla vehicles in February 2022, but only 15 of the Hilux vehicles were delivered, and none of the Corolla vehicles had been received. The Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board also made advance payments for the delivery of a bus and computers for US$50,500 and ZWL$1.7 million, respectively, by the end of 2021. However, the goods had not been delivered at the time of the audit.

The report points out a range of issues, from governance concerns to problems in revenue collection, debt recovery, asset management, procurement, employment, and service delivery. The audit found that the State entities and parastatals suffered from weak oversight over internal controls, unsupported expenditures, non-compliance with tax laws and regulations, and various other governance issues. The report called for the attention of boards and internal audit units of these entities to strengthen their internal control systems, improve transparency, and enhance accountability.

The auditor-general also noted that these public entities should frequently assess their internal control systems to address governance issues effectively.

Source - newsday