The Parliament Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has given the Prime Minister six month period to implement recommendations aimed at improving public finance accountability and compliance to the auditor general’s reports.
Top priority, for the Prime Minister is to resolve the issue of corporate governance in Water and Sanitation Corporation (Wasac) which, according to report, consistently exhibited poor performance as a business entity since 2014 onward.
“For several years now, there is no auditor general’s report that goes without showing issues in Wasac. We would recommend the Prime Minister to give the Wasac issue an orientation because the line ministry failed,” Valens Muhakwa, PAC president said.
Besides Wasac, PAC tasked the Prime Minister to request the ministries of infrastructure, finance, local government and its line organs to solve issues of unsustainable feeder roads.
The recommendation comes after PAC report presented to parliament this November 9, 2021 showed that many government organs, business and none business enterprises are backsliding in compliance with Auditor General’s recommendations.
The report presented by PAC chairman Muhakwa showed that there has been a fall back in compliance, finance, project, tenders and contract management in general.
The report recommended over 90 resolutions and recommendations of action to be taken by the Prime Minister and ministries of agriculture, finance and economic planning, local government, infrastructure, education and justice.
Among the issues, the 2019/2020 assessment showed that 96 idle equipment worth 21,7billions.
Stalled projects due to entrepreneurs abandoning their jobs also cost government more money to revive them.
This includes 16 projects worth Rwf114,6billions indicating an increase in total loses incurred compared to Rwf112,5billion last year.
The report also highlighted a level of administrative negligence and lack of due diligence in project planning among government entities where many projects were budgeted for without feasibility studies resulting to stalling or revisiting the projects after shortfalls in implementation.
For instance EDCL the electricity distribution company offered five execution projects worth Rwf83billions plus €8,658,675 without any feasibility study done. Also in the same organ three contracts worth Rwf6billions were compelled to be extended another 2,239 days instead of the required 1,277 days.
Another example was in the education sector with Rwanda Education Board (REB) where Rwf130,5millions was used to repair its structures without having a feasibility study resulting to additional contracts signing up to Rwf216millions to cover more work that was supposed to be done.
The report also found that government entities didn’t make market surveys when offering tenders resulting to low costing of projects thus requiring more funding to meet the required status quo. This was largely noticed in EDCL where they paid over Rwf1.5billions in two tenders that had cost at Rwf128millions creating an additional budget of Rwf1,029billions (804%).
In this same area, the committee reported REB as having used Rwf8.8billions in five tenders instead of Rwf3.7billions that had been intended meaning that the organ exceeded its budget by Rwf5,036billions equivalent to 133% increase.
“There is no planning at all ,” MP Valens Muhakwa told lawmakers.
Members of parliament were more concerned about the lack of proper and strategic planning in government which has been an issue in several Auditor General’s reports for years.
“What is it that these officials and institutions are lacking to the extent that it keeps coming back and especially failing to implement the Auditor General’s recommendations asked MP Winifrida Mpembyemungu.