TOP STORY: $30 million for financial management reforms

According to the Accountant General, an Audit Bill that will strengthen public servants’ accountability is yet to be presented to parliament. The Bill will guarantee the independence of the Office of the Auditor General Government has given priority to development of a strong and efficient Public Financial Management System (PFMS).This is to ensure that the country gets an enhanced PFMS of international standards by 2012.
Minister Musoni (C) Freeman Nomvalo (L) and Mujuni at the ESAAG Conference at Serena on Monday. (Photo / J. Mbanda)
Minister Musoni (C) Freeman Nomvalo (L) and Mujuni at the ESAAG Conference at Serena on Monday. (Photo / J. Mbanda)

According to the Accountant General, an Audit Bill that will strengthen public servants’ accountability is yet to be presented to parliament. The Bill will guarantee the independence of the Office of the Auditor General

Government has given priority to development of a strong and efficient Public Financial Management System (PFMS).This is to ensure that the country gets an enhanced PFMS of international standards by 2012.

To this effect, the government is injecting at least $30 million for over five years into PFM reforms in various institutions of government spearheaded by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development.

According to Fred Mujuni, the Accountant General, “The main drivers of the cost is to develop capacity building, followed by enhancement of systems in the Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA) and the Office of Auditor General.”

Mujuni who is also the incoming Chairman of Eastern and Southern African Association of Accountants General (ESAAG) was speaking at the ongoing 16th Annual conference of Eastern and Southern African Association of Accountants General (ESAAG) that opened on Monday this week at the Serena Hotel in Kigali.

While making a presentation on “PFM Reforms in Rwanda”, Mujuni said that the aim of the reform strategy is to institutionalise the reforms within the government’s operations.

It is envisaged that the concentration on development of the above areas will lead to, “improved information on resources received by service delivery units, better monitoring of expenditure payment arrears, public enterprises and autonomous government agencies.” 

Specifically, the government is spending the huge amount of money on professionalization of accounting cadres, development and implementation of SmartGov, an e-government system that connects all government systems electronically.

Some of the systems it connects includes tax filing, payments and use of IPPS a payroll software, to strengthen payrolls controls.

The PFM reforms are based on four pillars namely; Economic management and budgeting, financial management and reporting, public procurement and budget execution oversight.
According to Mujuni such a system ensures accountable use of public resources as a basis for economic development and poverty eradication through improved service delivery.

“It is not only efficient and effective but also   transparent hence reducing opportunities for corruption,” Mujuni said in a parallel interview with The New Times.

“What we are doing is to improve service delivery to the citizens. We are building a strong system of international standards that is efficient and effective that will facilitate economic development,” he added.

As part of the five year (2008-2012) PFM Reform Strategy, key reforms that have already been undertaken include, the development of legal and regulatory framework that includes an organic budget and procurement law and various taxation laws.

The PFM Reform Strategy covers all the dimensions of Public Finance Management.

Last month, the Executive board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) completed its fifth review of Rwanda’s economic performance under the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF).

The completion of the review enabled the immediate disbursement of about $1.7 million, bringing total disbursements under the arrangement to about $10.4 million.

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