The Ministry of Finance and Treasury has clarified that all government outstanding payments owed to various goods and services providers last year.
In an interview with SIBC News, Deputy Accountant General, Douglas Sade said work on payments are done according to the life of the budget.
“We are just working with the budget. Last year’s budget lapsed at the end of December so as the payments charged to the budget. So, at the end of the year, payments which have not been paid have to be cancelled.”
“We cannot roll over the payments into the new year because the new financial year has its own budget, programs, and work plans.”
The Ministry of Finance and Treasury
Mr Sade said vendors with outstanding payments will have to follow up with responsible ministries.
“So, what normally happens is payments which are not being paid will be cancelled, send them back to the responsible ministries. These ministries will then prioritize which payments are to be re-submitted. It might affect their budget for this year but that is why they will be prioritizing which ones are to be submitted again.”
He also explained some of the payments are based on proformas and not invoices.
“Some of these payments’ impacts are not limited to one year, so though it might affect their budget, usually the implementation covers multiple years, especially with contracts.”
“Some of the payments are just advanced payments based on proformas and not on actual invoices. This means that on proformas goods and services are not provided to the government so even though they are cancelled, it will not affect the government’s commitment.”
“However, for some cancelled payments, goods and services have already been provided so those payments will be the Ministries priority.”
The Finance Ministry is working on cancelling all payments and expects to complete it by the end of this week. Once completed, a list of cancelled payments will be sent to the ministries for re-submission.
Payments which have been cancelled include housing rentals, contracts, and student allowances.
The Ministry assures that housing rentals will be the first set of payments to be re-submitted before looking at other payments.
By Eliza Kukutu