By Daniel Sabiiti
The Parliamentary Accounts Committee (PAC) and even the auditor’s general office are yet to see a single piece of evidence to support the proper spending of over Rwf120 billion of tax payers’ money lost in unimplemented projects.
The Parliamentary Accounts Committee (PAC) released a report that indicates over Rwf120 billion of tax payers’ money lost in unimplemented projects which have remained redundant since fiscal year 2014/ 2015 budget.
Gaps in management of public accounts and tax payers’ money remain a challenge for government institutions, projects and tendering processes.
According to the Auditor General’s report for expenditure incurred last year amounts totaling Rwf19 billions were lost in dubious ways especially in government institutions, projects and districts. Also included in this amount were sums totaling Rwf233 billion mismanaged at sector levels.
The same issues was seen in the previous report of the Auditor General which noted that the expenditure incurred by entities audited during the period June 2014 to 30 April 2015 represents 81% of the reported Government Expenditure for the year ended 30 June 2014,compared to 79% for the year ended 30 June 2013.
The committee says that despite improvement, from the previous audit year, in government institutions showing supporting financial documents at 50 percent of the 158 reports analyzed, there was a decline in implementing OAG recommendations.
The decline in taking note of corrections dropped from 60 percent to 32 percent.
Nine institutions have been highlighted on this list among government policy implementation institutions.
The institutions with this perpetual tendency include: Rwanda Social Security Board, (RSSB), RBC, Rwanda Agricultural Board (RAB), Rwanda Development Board (RDB), Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA), University of Rwanda (UR) Rwanda transport Development Agency (RTDA), former water, electricity and sanitation body (EWASA) among others.
“The problems are there and still continued in most of the institutions but the lesson is that funds have to be managed well so as to impact on country’s development, said Juvenal Nkusi, the PAC chairperson.
Some MPs suggested tighter measures on embezzlement cases and called for a month dedicated to recollection of stolen funds and justice ministry hand stretched in these cases, but others thought it was not the job of the parliament to follow suite of the cases.
“Mismanagement of funds and reluctance to punish…we want to know when this will be made more serious”,
The PAC report also indicated that in general, officials who appeared before PAC hearing last month, no one took individual responsibility for the loses, or for the financial errors and handing out tenders using illegal procedures.
This, at times, saw several employees who made financial mistakes and administrative errors were either changed in placements or transferred even when some have been prosecuted and a handful of cases on civil servants are in court.
Government loses billions in these cases as a result of errors in employment agreements and evaluation and poor tender processing and agreements with private sector players.
With these risks at stake, MPs said that PAC should be given the green light to do an independent and in depth investigation on OAG reports so as to cut down these impunity cases.
The PAC report will be submitted to the Prime minister’s office for a further cabinet review.