32 diplomats miss payroll

Government complex Lusaka

HE latest Auditor General’s (AG) report has revealed that 32 officers who were appointed to the diplomatic service between 2011 and 2012 had not yet been placed on the payroll by March last year.
The AG’s2012  report said Government owed K453,661 in salary arrears, which accumulated for officers awaiting placement on the payroll.
The report revealed that 165 out of the 197 officers appointed to the foreign Service during the period 2011 and 2012, had been placed on the payroll while the remaining 32 officers had not been placed on the payroll as of March last year due to lack of vacancies in the civil service.
This is contrary to Foreign Service Regulations and Conditions of Service which state that an officer posted into the diplomatic service shall be placed on the payroll and be entitled to the local salary at a salary scale equivalent to the position held in the Foreign Service.
The report said in addition, there was no provision to cover such costs in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs 2013 budget.
It also revealed that during the January to October 2012 period, 160 diplomats were recalled who included 95 civil servants and 65 others who were on contract.
The report said out of the 95 civil servants, 84 were re-deployed in various Government departments where vacancies existed while 19 were not deployed.
It said by April last year, the officers not deployed were still awaiting re-deployment and had drawn over K848,000 in salaries.
The AG’s report further said contrary to the terms and conditions of service for the public service, recoveries for loans in amounts totaling K547,000 issued to 49 officers and advances totaling K268,188 issued to 29 officers was not effected as of December 2013.
It also states that K48,668 imprest issued to 14 officers at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was not retired as of December last year contrary to financial regulations No. 96.
The report also revealed that the minister and the deputy ministers who were paid fuel allowances amounting to over K71,621 and K62,554 respectively during the period under review also drew 915 and 225 litres of fuel worth over K7,126 and K1,706 respectively from the pool fuel account in their personal to holder accounts.