LILONGWE-(MaraviPst)-The country’s Auditor General (AG) Stephenson Kamphasa this week confessed that the Integrated Financial Management Information System (Ifmis) is again being abused.

This is despite the government claiming that it has sealed loopholes in Ifmis— which led to massive plunder of public funds at Capital Hill in 2013

Kamphasa, who indicated that he has not yet seen and assessed the new Ifmis which the government has reportedly procured, has also disclosed that the current system is not able to carry out all procurement processes.

The AG disclosed that the shortfalls in the system could result in people taking advantage of it and siphoning public funds.

“I am told that they have bought a new platform as well as equipment. I am yet to see that and assess what is inside. But the one they are using has a lot of loopholes.

“The Ifmis was supposed to run [on] 15 modules but only eight modules are working. This means there are a lot of problems that are coming into effect. One of the issues is budget analysis vis-a-vis expenditure,” Kamphasa said as quoted by The Daily Times on Wednesday night.

Charity organization Oxfam and Integrity Platform had engaged the Public Accounts Committee (Pac) of Parliament and Kamphasa on the latter’s report analysis.

Having highlighted the challenges in the current Ifmis, Kamphasa said he hopes the new one would address them.

“The system is [designed in] such [a way] that all procurement should be seamless. From the time they are starting the process to the time the contract is signed and even the time they are making payments after the services, all that should be done through the electronic system.

“But, as of now, there are so many shortfalls and that is why people take advantage of that and do their own things,” he said.

Oxfam interim Country Director, Lingalireni Mihowa, said, at the time the study’s findings were shared in March this year, there were concerns regarding a backlog of audits.

She also said, for the National Audit Office to optimally carry out its operations, it should have adequate funding.

“One of the key things which is still a concern is that the AG could do more with more resources. The Auditor General was clear that, most of the times, they rely on donors to carry out audits,” Mihowa said.

Public Accounts Committee of Parliament Chairperson, Alekeni Menyani, said he was in agreement with most of the findings of the report analysis.

“We wish this report had come earlier, probably last year or even the year before, because the committee is looking at processes after the audit reports came to Pac,” Menyani said.

On the other hand, Menyani shot down the suggestion that his committee should have powers to take more drastic action on wayward public officers, instead of just recommending to other authorities.

NBS Bank Your Caring Bank