Parastatals miss financial statement deadline

Nqobile Bhebhe

SEVERAL parastatals failed to meet the October cut off period for submitting financial statements to government for auditing, citing major challenges in reconciling the Zimbabwe dollar era transactions to the multi-currency regime.

State owned companies were given until the end of October last year  to submit financial statements for auditing in line with the approved Corporate Governance Framework that compels all 78 state-owned enterprises to submit audited financial statements.

State Enterprises and Parastatals minister Gordon Moyo told businessdigest on Tuesday that a handful of government-run companies appealed for an extension after failing to beat the deadline.

“Most companies did meet the October deadline but a handful failed and they approached us to ask for a grace period to submit their reports. They cited the change over from the Zimbabwe dollar to use of multi currencies as a major challenge in compiling reports,” said Moyo.

He said the currency change over meant that “every receipt in Zimbabwe dollars had to be checked” to come up with correct records but his ministry is currently considering the parastatals submission for an extension.

The changeover from the Zimbabwe dollar in March 2009 to multi currencies has given companies and individuals problems in trying to quantify deals and transactions before adoption of multi currencies two years ago.

However, Moyo could not disclose the names or number of parastatals which failed to meet the deadline saying ‘that would be exposing them unnecessarily as they came in confidence.”

Governments’ accounting office –– the Comptroller and Auditor General –– is currently sifting through the reports, Moyo said.

Several private companies have been hired to assist after most parastatals have not submitted financial accounts in the past five years.

Moyo did not disclose what action would be taken on parastatals that failed to submit the reports within the grace period.

According to the Corporate Governance Framework document, financials statements of state enterprises or parastatals shall be audited annually by the Comptroller and Auditor-General or a nominee from that office.

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