Parliament has deferred a vote of K2 billion allocated to the National Audit Office (NAO) over controversy on the controlling officer of the Office.
According to Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Member of Parliament (MP) for Nkhata Bay Central Symon-Vuwa Kaunda who stood on a point of order in the House, the office has no Auditor General (AG) as the one who is there is working on acting capacity.
“The NAO is a department within the Ministry of Finance so my question was why is that there is no Auditor General in Office because the one who is there is a PS [Principal Secretary] Mr. Rexie Chiluzi he was in the OPC [Office of the President and Cabinet] and he has been moved there on acting capacity,” he said.
Vuwa Kaunda has questioned the allocation of the Vote saying that the Office is not independent due to the absence of the Controlling Officer hence it cannot be trusted with budgetary allocation.
“What we are calling here is the about independence of the Office of the Auditor General so we need the Auditor General in office, that’s all,” Kaunda said.
Appearing before the Parliamentary Cluster on Budget and Public Accounts earlier, NAO Acting Auditor General Rexie Chiluzi singled out the absence of the AG as some of the challenges the Office is currently facing.
Chiluzi added that the Office is in need of additional K1 billion in the 2020/2021 to effectively carry out its duties.
Meanwhile, Vuwa Kaunda has since asked President Lazarus Chakwera to appoint the AG to the Office pending confirmation by Parliament.