Sealing Leakages of Public Funds Abuse: The Malawi “Cashgate” Case

Byson B. Majanga

Abstract


The accountancy profession subscribes to the values of accountability, integrity, honesty, accuracy among others and that is the reason accountants are required in any field of work to provide an independent report of how the resources are deployed to bring the outcome and assess if indeed the outcome from the use of such resources is as it had been expected by all the stakeholders. This requirement is common to all sectors of the economy, whether in the public or private sector.

The paper discusses the changing role of the accountant in the public sector in response to the growing concerns of public resource abuse. Africa, Malawi in particular, has been a victim of gross resource abuse by public officers through among others fraud, corruption, theft and gross mismanagement. Malawi has recently been rated highly in terms of corrupt practices with the public sector taking a leading position leading to gross mismanagement of public resources since the dawn of democracy in 1994.

The study takes a look at the changing roles of an accountant in the public sector where the control environment in the financial management system, and the political will of those in charge of the public sector, are not the same as those in the private sector.

The accounting weaknesses or challenges as revealed by the reviewed audit reports are scrutinised and the role of the accountant with respect to each challenge is reviewed and recommendations suggested which if implemented, may block the future recurrence of such weaknesses in the financial management systems in the public sector.


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.11114/afa.v1i2.726

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Applied Finance and Accounting (AFA)        

ISSN 2374-2410(Print)           ISSN 2374-2429(Online)

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