Saturday, December 3, 2022
The ZAMBIA Institute of Chartered Accountants- ZICA- has backed the Law Association of Zambia – LAZ’ understanding of the law that Government could be right to hire private firms to audit defense forces.
ZICA president Cecilia Zimba has argued that all firms in question are well registered with PACRA and ZICA.
Ms. Zimba notes that the said audit firms, which include Grand Thornton, are also fully resourced with local qualified and certified partners.
Below is the full statement by the ZICA president:
ZICA’S POSITION ON THE AUDIT OF DEFENCE FORCES BY
PRIVATE AUDIT FIRMS – 30th November 2022
The Zambia Institute of Chartered Accountants (ZICA) is mandated to regulate the practice and education of Accountants in Zambia as per the provisions of the Accountants Act of 2008. Further, we have a statutory mandate to advise the Government of Zambia on matters relating to the economic development of the Country.
This statement is issued in the interest of clarity in view of press statements and stories circulating on the appointment by Government of private firms which are all Members of ZICA and includes Grant Thornton and PWC to carry out reviews of the Government public domestic debt which includes the Defence wings of Government.
According to the Ministerial Statement by Hon Dr. Situmbeko Musokotwane, MP Minister of Finance and National Planning on the Engagement of Consultants to verify Domestic Debt submitted in Parliament on Thursday 17th November 2022 he elaborated the matter concerning the procurement of the firms and the procurement process followed and I quote “Madam we are a government that has promised transparency and good Governance in the management of public funds. In line with this pledge, the firms that have been contracted were engaged through a selective tender process that involved twelve (12) reputable firms that bid for the different lots (i.e. different categories of outstanding arrears). The tenders were floated on 31st January, 2022 and awarded on 12th May 2022. The firms were engaged by the Ministry of Finance and National Planning”.
As ZICA, we wish to state that all six firms that were awarded the contracts which include Grant Thornton and PWC are Zambian Firms duly registered with the Patents and Companies Registration Agency and ZICA as a regulator. The said firms are fully resourced with local qualified and certified partners who carry out the day to day operations as well as authorized to sign off audit and other engagements they may be involved in. All the firms in question are fully licensed by ZICA and are within their scope to operate in such a manner and undertake the said assignments We further acknowledge that the Office of the Auditor General has power to appoint external auditors in accordance with the Public Audit Act No. 29 of 2016 subsection 10 (1).
We are also cognizant of the sensitive nature of auditing the Defence Force or the Zambia Security Intelligence Services. With that in mind, the Public Finance
Management Act. No. 1 of 2018 subsection 73 (3) provides for the office of the
Auditor General to subcontract external auditors to audit the Defence Force or the Zambia Security Intelligence Service in accordance with the Public Finance Management Act No.1 of 2018 subsection 73 (3).
As ZICA, we have no objection to the appointment of the Firms to verify authenticity of arrears owed for supply of domestic goods and services to Government, as we support actions that will foster the effective verification of how public resources are utilized and how public officials working within the Government administrations follow the rules and regulations.
Having reviewed the Terms of reference of the Consultants, we confirm that the selected Firms have capacity to undertake the assignments.
We would like to put on record that our comment can only go as far as the validity of licensing for the firms and partners is concerned.
Zambia Institute of Chartered Accountants
Plot # 2374/A, Thabo Mbeki Road, Lusaka
Telephone +260 211 374550/59