The ministry of education has revealed that it was conned into purchasing a Rwf2.3billion finance and information management software system from a South Africa company only to get stuck with a product that didn’t function.
Reappearing at the Chamber of Deputies yesterday, July 28 to explain financial issues that were indicated in Auditor General’s report, Education minister Dr. Valentine Uwamariya said that the problem is around an Integrated Education Business Management Information System (IEBMIS) used by the University of Rwanda (UR).
The Auditor General’s report in 2020 revealed that the system in question was not serving its intended purpose while UR continued to spend money on it and on external consultants.
The report indicated that only three out of 14 modules of IEBMIS equivalent to 21.4 percent are partially utilized while 11 modules equivalent to 78.6 per cent have never been put to use.
In June, the minister was summoned by Parliament to explain reasons behind failure in this expensive system but her explanations were not convincing enough.
Re-appearing over the same issue yesterday, Uwamariya informed Parliament that since then the ministry has done something to boost the failed system.
Members of Parliament asked the minister what the Minister intends to do to address the problem.
“We would like to know in your proposed roadmap if the Ministry will have to spend more money in redeveloping this software system. Would you also give us assurance that Rwandan ICT experts will do an equal or better job than the South Africans?” asked MP Valens Muhakwa, the Public Accounts Committee Chairperson.
“We couldn’t drop the system since we had spent so much in it. Currently, we are using our own ICT experts to develop the fourth module of the system,” Uwamariya said.
The minister revealed that since the South African company didn’t do a follow-up on training local staff to use the system the university is planning in August to start training all staff to use the current modules as the UR banks on the integration of their system into other national information and finance systems.
“We are confident in our local IT teams who have proven to deliver. By training all our staff we will be able to sustainably use the system,” Uwamariya said.
The Minister, however, said that anyone behind the purchase agreement of the faulty system will be held accountable.