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PAC Reports Misuse of Public Funds in Education Institutions

by Daniel Sabiiti
4:04 pm

Rwanda parliament

The Rwanda parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) examined issues of public finance management, especially on lack of value for money, planning, and misuse of public funds, which affects the quality of education.

The institutions include Rwanda Polytechnic, TVET Board, Rwanda Basic Education Board, and the University of Rwanda.

In one of the above cases, Parliament asked Rwanda Polytechnic (RP) to explain how they spent Rwf1.2 million on a Workbench (table) but lacked sufficient information on an issue related to how the alleged purchase was made.

PAC revealed due to poor management, RP purchased 70 of these tables costing a total of Rwf86.4M and bringing the total cost to 86.4M.

However, after conducting the physical verification of the supplied materials, especially the tables delivered at Cyanika TVET and Nyagisozi TVET, the audit showed that the unit prices were overstated compared to the quality of the items.

A look at the image of the tables, MPs said that one would cost Rwf30, 000 or less.

“Who of you (RP) was able to visit and verify what was done or delivered? PAC Chairman Valens Muhakwa asked.

RP Deputy Vice Chancellor Dr. Aimable Nsabimana said that they didn’t and accepted the fault to correct it in the future but MP Muhakwa insisted this is a big issue to neglect yet besides the low-quality tables, others delivered are still in stock.

RP Vice Chancellor, Dr. Sylvie Mucyo said there was weakness in technical specifications but her explanation was rebuffed.

MPs asked the RP to do an internal inquiry on how these funds were spent, and if it is true the materials were bought at that said cost, they would have to pay back the money and show a receipt of payment and it should be done before September 23.

To this effect, they recommended the Rwanda Investigation Bureau (RIB) pursue the case.

PAC also examined the technical education segment where the implementation of 10 TVET schools and four incubation centers has not happened as a result of a failed tender implementation between Rwanda TVET Board and EximBank- an Indian bank.

The project has been delayed for four years and has since incurred expenditures amounting to $172,788 (Rwf170.5M) relating to the preparation of the detailed construction project.

Paul Umukunzi, Director General of Rwanda TVET Board said that the delays were caused by conditions set by the EximBank which kept changing all through, but they took over the project management in January 2021.

The AG advised REB to follow-up on the basic education project and implementation of tenders and projects that make this happen.

For example, REB offered a tender worth $489,136 (Rwf 487,3M) with Little Steps Ltd for the supply of IT equipment/lot 3 for various schools in the eastern province but without conducting due diligence.

REB paid a 20% advance amounting to Rwf92M instead of paying a 10% advance guarantee as provided in the bidding document and the bidding company offered performance security of 5% instead of 10% of the contract amount.

REG DG, Dr. Nelson Mbarushimana confessed that there was a lack of diligence but MPs thinnk that this was due to negligence on what is happening and a disconnect between staff and leadership.

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