By Isaac Vuni
September 1, 2007 (JUBA) — Any government of Southern Sudan ministers and states that failed to send in their finical statements on block grants money will not get their monthly grants from September this year, GoSS Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Kuol Athain Mawin has said.
Speaking at the closing session of three days workshop of states consultative meeting last evening, Kuol Athain Mawin said his ministry will no longer entertain states which failed to send in their financial statements on money given to them through block account; and advising them to be prepared to face reaction from desperate employees within their respective ministries and states because of their own inefficient mistakes.
The minister delivered the closing remarks at the first states consultative workshop held in Juba capital of southern Sudan attended by more than 300 seniors financial leaders form 28th to 30th August 2007.
The ministry of finance had requested both GoSS ministries and states to submit in their pay sheets by 20th of every month to enable finance staff to have ample time for checking and transferring their due in time for prompt payment but none on the institutions have complied with the directive instead blame ministry of finance for delaying monthly payment of employees.
“Any state that does not avail their statements of account on block grants transferred to their account by GoSS treasury will have to forfeit their monthly grant until their reports are received and check by staff of the ministry of Finance and Economic planning, declared Mawein. He went further saying that whether a state have a budget line or not, they ought to account for money send into their individuals state account”.
The minister said by September this year his ministry will have to impose strike financial regulations especially on accountability on money send to ministries including the ten states of southern Sudan. Adding that any ministries or states that dose not adhere to their directive will risk forfeiting their monthly grants, Mawein said.
The minister, on the other hand, announced with dismay that some of southern Sudanese employees have deeply indulge themselves in looting their own government by getting double or triple monthly salaries from various institutions including army, police, prison and wildlife organized forces including the ten states of southern Sudan.
He went on warning those corrupt individuals to immediately stop their unbecoming behaviors otherwise they will be charge and made to account for looting public fund.
He advise the senior government officials from both GoSS and states to seriously take charge of financial management and to deliver services to the expectation of southern Sudanese masses who have been marginalized, oppressed and exploited for quite a long time.
Mawein assured the states financial officials that the ministry of finance and economic planning is going to print all financial forms and expected each state to buy it at reduce price that only covers the printing and transportation cost.
The minister directed all director generals at GoSS and state levels to ensure that consolidate staff are fully recruited in according to public service regulations. He also reiterated the necessity for paying personal income tax by all government officials starting from this month of August 2007 and it will affect all officials who earn more than 200 Sudanese pounds will have to pay 10% of their income but the sum of 200 form each employee is exempted.
OFFICIALS TO DECLARE INDIVIDUAL ACCOUNT AND ASSETS
Meanwhile the chairperson of Anti Corruption Commission of southern Sudan, Pauline Riek said all senior government officials will soon be required by her commission to sign a confidential declaration on their individual account and assets to enable her team follow and combats any claim of corruption raise against senior officials.
While the auditor general of southern Sudan requested all states ministers of finance to acquire all the necessary financial forms and to start using them immediately, otherwise, comes next year there will be no excuse of any kind.
Adding that books of account have to be closed not later than six months from end of each financial year to enable his audit chamber to submit its report to Goss president and Southern Sudan Lawmakers within three months from the date of receiving states financial reports
While presenting position of Public Service and Human Resource Development of Southern Sudan, the undersecretary of the ministry, Dr. Mark Zangabeo proposed to raise the retirement age of civil servant from 60 to 65 years and it was received with mixed reactions with majority refusing by arguing that majority of the current Directors generals and directors are worn-out/ officials only out to enrich themselves and their children at the expense of unsuspecting masses of southern Sudan. On the other hand, the old aging seniors governments officials who are politically connected are being recycle are very happy with the increase of retirement age.
The Director General of Planning and Budgeting in Goss ministry of education, Mr. Shadrack Chol Stephen attributed short transfer of state education funds to dollar exchange rate that has dropped from 2.5 to 2 Sudanese pounds per a dollar.
He also reminded the financial leaders that the ten states ministers of education who met at Rumbek recently have agreed to allocate 3% of their total budget to cater for educational needs of southern Sudan students including returnees in various universities in the Sudan have partly contributed to Declan in their grant amount transferred
Shadrack revealed that only 70% of the Rapid Assessments Learning Space (RALS) reports from states were received by Goss ministry of Education and hence the same RALS reports was used to get an average amount for state spending by dividing it by three.
However, for Yambio of Western Equatoria state, Shadrack said they were asked to send in their signed pay sheets for verification but they failed to present instead requested Goss ministry of education to give them two months to prepare the needed information which they also failed to present to the present. So it’s the states who are to blame than GoSS education ministry, he said.
Finally, Shadrack announced that Education inistry headquarters will only prepare budget for 20,000 teachers per a state and advice states financial leaders to include education support staff in their respective budget.