Malawi Parliament wants Accountant General kicked out

Alekeni Menyani

The country’s Accountant General Chrighton Chimombo is under fire  from the Public Accounts Committee (PAC)  of Parliament  over  his unprofessional conduct in the procurement of the new Integrated Financial Management Information System (Ifmis) software.

According to published reports, Chimombo awarded a Zimbabwean firm called Twenty Third Century (TTC) whose 2015 bid was slated at $13 807 561.46 (about MK10 billion). This is despite the procurement of IIFMIS being allocated K5 billion in the 2018/19 National Budget.

Twenty Third Century also puts its recurring costs every three years at $3 086 294.73, which the taxpayer would have to cough up.

But PAC chairperson Alekeni Menyani suspects foulplay as the company’s bid was one of the most expensive among the pool of bidders, saying it is “financial recklessness” to go for expensive bidder.

Menyani said the procurement process is flawed  and that Accountant General “has to be fired immediately for being unprofessional and because he is taking the country back to Cashgate.”

In response, Chimombo stated that the Office of the Director of Public  Procurement (ODPP) issued  a no-objection to the winning bid, implying that the procurement process was transparent, fair and not flawed.

Other bidders include Transnational Computer Technologies whose price tag was at $12 200 000.00 and at a recurring cost of $1 418 780.21 for five years; Free Balance with an offer of S$13 995 935.00 and KPMG whose total bid price was $47 858 154.00.

Ifmis is a common information and communication technology (ICT) platform which integrates core public financial management (PFM) functions to ensure efficient management of public resources. The old system was revamped following the cashgate scandal which resulted in billions of public funds being looted.