The Parliament Public Accounts Committee (PAC) was left in shock to hear evidence that the body which is meant to promote good education environment is rather involved in tender malpractices which jeopardizes construction classrooms.
An audit report presented on Thursday showed that Rwanda Education Board (REB) offered school construction tender to an enterprise on the basis of a simple promise.
The Auditor General’s report 2017/18 showed that a tender worth Rwf 721million was supposed to fund construction of preprimary schools in Rutsiro, Nyaruguru, Gatsibo, Gisagara and Ngororero districts.
The report said: “In Rutsiro district, Betex ltd was removed on the list of tender bidders because the company didn’t have a clear line of credit. The tender was offered to another bidder- Ecome ltd on grounds they had ‘all requirements’ and had offered a promise to open a line of credit to be able to execute the project.”
“This means that there was no line of credit presented then,” said MP Beline Uwineza, adding that all the four tenders were offered without a feasibility study.
“How can you give out a tender on just a promise? This is the recklessness inside REB that I have been talking about. The institution lacks professionalism and patriotic resilience in resource management,” Auditor General Obadiah Biraro said.
When the Ecome ltd entrepreneur was asked to testify on the tender case in Rutsiro, he said; “I bid for the tender on grounds that my bank had given me a promise of a loan.”
He notified PAC that he has not handed over the school project because REB and UNICEF (the funders) couldn’t agree on some issues in which he asked for an extra Rwf 20 million for unanticipated work caused by a hilly terrain in Rutsiro.
Biraro said such issues arise because of the fraudulent schemes crafted by person behind the tendering process.
Dr. Ndayambaje , REB Director General said that it is true the tenders were not offered in proper channels which has resulted to two of the former REB DGs being arrested and tried for the mismanagement of public funds.
This negligence has witnessed the auditors compliance report on REB stand at 46% instead of the required 60% basing on the advise and consel offered to government entities in each annual audit.
PAC chairman Jean Chrysostom Ngabitsinze wondered if any action was taken and how come such persons are still in the civil service.
Dr. Irénée Ndayambaje , REB Director General said that administrative action was taken on some of the staff while others resigned from their posts.
“That means some of them walked away after they had filled their pockets. It is not a good idea if REB doesn’t do anything,” MP Ngabitsinze said.