By NATION REPORTER
The Ministry of Finance and National Planning has no power to enter into an audit contract for the Defence and neither the Ministry nor indeed the President have the power to order the Auditor General to do so, therefore the hiring of Grant Thornton and Price Water House Coopers (PWC) is illegal, null and void, Mutotwe Kafwaya has said.
And Mr Kafwaya, an auditor, says there is no legal provision in the statues that allows the Secretary to the Treasury to contract private auditing firms for such is but an exclusive mandate of the Office of the Auditor General.
Mr Kafwaya, the Lunte Patriotic Front Member of Parliament has stated that Finance and National Planning Minister Situmbeko Musokotwane had committed an illegality by first not consulting the Auditor General and secondly by hiring the two audit firms to intrude into the books of accounts for the defence and security wings.
In an interview, Mr Kafwaya explained that the Ministry of Finance should never render advice of any from to the Office of the Auditor General for that would be but interference on the party of the Ministry.
Mr Kafwaya, who is the PF presidential aspirant said the Office of the Auditor General was independent of any arm of government and that for Dr Musokotwane to even announce that he had consulted the Auditor General was no less than senseless.
He stated that not even the Republican President could be allowed to direct the work of the Office of the Auditor General because the office was independent of any external influence.
“Since they are calling it an audit, let the Minister be told that there is no law that allows the Ministry of Finance to contract private audit firms, more particularly firms to audit our Defence and Security Wings. This contract the Ministry of Finance has signed with Grant Thornton and PWC is therefore illegal, null and void because Dr Musokotwane or the Secretary to the Treasury have no mandate to employ or contract private auditors. Not even the President can direct the work of the Office of the Auditor General,” Mr Kafwaya said.
He said since the Ministry of Finance could not employ or hire auditors as it only employed accountants, it was wrong for Dr Musokotwane to consult the Office of the Auditor General on the hiring of the two audit firm to audit the books of the country’s Defence and Security Units.
“However, the Ministry of Finance can subcontract consultancy services but even then, the Office of the Auditor General is the only one mandated to do so…and in the process of auditing, the Ministry of Finance should not have any conversation with the Auditor General because he is independent of the Ministry,” Mr Kafwaya said.
Government has hired the services of Grant Thornton and PWC to conduct audits on the Defence and Security Units of the country but that the contract between government and the two firms was without the blessings of the Auditor General.