[EDITORIAL] Accountability: EAC secretariat should lead by example

Wasteful expenditure and irregular procurement are some of the outstanding issues the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) wants the East African Community (EAC) secretariat to address urgently.

Wasteful expenditure and irregular procurement are some of the outstanding issues the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) wants the East African Community (EAC) secretariat to address urgently.

This was raised on Friday last week as lawmakers wrapped up debate and adopted a report of the Committee on Accounts on the audited accounts for the period ended June 30, 2015.

The issues raised should be urgently fixed to avoid a situation where the integration process could be derailed by actions of the organ at the forefront of fast tracking the integration process. The EAC secretariat should not act contrary to the spirit of the integration process. The audit issues pointed out send a wrong signal to the key funders of the EAC including the five partner states and development partners. 

It is important that urgent measures are taken to address these issues to avoid derailing the current momentum of the integration process which is on course. The member countries have already implemented several initiatives that have seen improved trade and free movement of people and labor across the region. Big projects are being undertaken by partner states to spur development in the region like the northern corridor rail line project, among others.

However, since financial accountability is critical in integration process, the secretariat must ensure that this attribute is enforced to win the confidence of the funders. Without transparency and accountability, the relationship between the key funders and the secretariat will be affected.   

For example the Audit review revealed a number of instances where the EAC Secretariat spent funds that could have been saved had management been more prudent in the utilization of its resources.

The integration process should not be compromised by irregularities at the EAC secretariat; the concerned authorities should take action and put things in order.

 

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