RUBAVU - Transparency was at the core of today’s discussions at the National Leadership Retreat in Rubavu, which outlined the next steps in the Government’s drive to root out corruption, and ensure accountability at every level.
The Auditor General highlighted weaknesses in financial management in public institutions, with a lot of irregularities related to unsupported expenditure and non-compliance with the prescribed guidelines on management of public assets.
On a positive note, according to the Auditor General, Evelyn Kamajugu, “there were 13 institutions that did not have any case of unsupported expenditure and nine with no case of non-compliance with public procurement procedures”.
Insufficient human capacity across all sectors was identified as a key contributing factor to weak financial management.
It was pointed out that there were only three certified accounting technicians and among the 88 members of the recently established Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Rwanda, less than half are Rwandan nationals with gaps being filled by foreigners.
The retreat endorsed urgent plans to implement training of a critical mass of accountants, reinforcing the findings of the skills audit discussed yesterday.
The apparent rise in reported cases of officials under arrest was attributed to increased scrutiny of public agencies, however a firm commitment was made by leaders at the retreat to hold accountable both staff and peers – and break with the culture of silence surrounding abuse of public resources.
In addition, law enforcement agencies pledged to improve coordination in order to promptly identify and handle incidents of corruption.
According to the World Bank, Rwanda ranks among the least corrupt countries in Africa and political will at the highest levels was reaffirmed today to maintain the country’s longstanding zero-tolerance policy.