Parliament Paints Gloomy Outlook for State Finances

Parliament concerned about the state Finances
Parliament concerned about the state Finances

Members of Parliament say it’s an embarrassment that the Rwanda Revenue Authority(RRA) workers are leaving the tax body at a high rate.

The MPs said this while reviewing the feedback from Public Account Committee (PAC) on the 2014-2015 Auditor General’s Report at lower chamber.

According to the Auditor General’s Report, the tax body loses about 20% of its workers every year.

PAC told lawmakers that RRA is losing most of its experienced staff and this is affecting revenue collection targets.

“This is a vital institution which holds all the money the country receives from the airports, Convention Center, and districts among others. We need to do something,” PAC deputy chairperson Theoneste Karenzi said.

In the period under review, Rwanda Revenue Authority collected Rwf 871.4 billion compared to an earlier target of Rwf 888.2 billion. This implies a difference of Rwf 16.8 billion.

PAC has recommended that a new law instituting Rwanda revenue authority should be put in place to cut the high rate of staff running away.

Among others, the restructuring would allow salary increment.

The monthly gross salary of a civil servant at RRA is included between Rwf 980,010 for directors of unit to Rwf 212,679 for a driver. Six top officials at RRA have a-6 digit monthly earning.

Redundant projects

It was found that over Rwf 120billion of tax payers’ money was lost in unimplemented projects which have remained redundant in the period under review.

About Rwf 560 million was given to all the 416 sectors in the country but most of the sectors did not present supporting documents on how they were spent. Mismanagement was also cited in crucial human-centered programs like Rwanda Biomedical Center (RBC) which continued to make losses over expired drugs.

The losses were worth Rwf429 billion in 2015 up from Rwf82billions in 2014.

PAC discovered that institutions’ compliance with the Auditor General’s recommendations has been declining.  The decline in taking note of corrections dropped from 60% in previous audit to 32% in the period under review.

Institutions with this perpetual tendency to ignore the Auditor General’s recommendations include: RRA, RBC, Rwanda Social Security Board, Rwanda Agricultural Board, Rwanda Development Board, University of Rwanda, Rwanda transport Development Agency and former Water, Electricity and Sanitation Authority (EWASA) among others.

Who should pay the cost?

Some MPs suggested tighter measures on embezzlement cases and called for a month dedicated to recollection of stolen funds while others said that can’t be the job of lawmakers.

“The millions of money being misused is a pity and we cannot afford to have sentiments on these cases but to hold individuals accountable. We need timely investigations for each case,” said MP Francoise Mukayisenga.

“It is not parliament to do technical work. We want the OAG and prosecution to do their job,” said MP Abbas Mukama.

According to PAC report, of the officials it summoned last month no one took individual responsibility for the loses made, or for the financial errors and handing out tenders through illegal procedures.

However, with proper investigations, culprits should be identified and be held accountable.

MPs suggested that PAC should be allowed to conduct an in-depth investigation on OAG reports to help cut down on impunity.




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