The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) is set to present its assessment of the Auditor General (AG)’s 2020-2021 report to the Chamber of Deputies, on Monday November 7, which is expected to feature resolutions with a view to address the identified public finance mismanagement cases. PAC started holding public hearings related to the AG's report on September 5. The almost three-week exercise lasted up to September23. Asking leaders about their responsibilities will not cease. And, we have to take it to another level so that Rwandans’ money be put to good use for the benefit of Rwandans as they are the owner of the public finance,” said PAC chair Valens Muhakwa and added that the finance is partly from the taxes paid by Rwandans, and the loans that the country receives and they will be paid back by Rwandans. Some of the key highlights in the AG’s report include the following: Costly tarmac road in Rubavu During PAC hearings on the AG’s report, it was indicated that a kilometer of a tarmac road cost four times more in Rubavu than in Musanze, two neighbouring districts that PAC said would normally have similar terrain features, and therefore, not too different road construction prices. According to the report, Rubavu spent Rwf1.22 billion on a kilometre of asphalt road, which is over three times more compared to Rwf363 million in Musanze, two and a half times more than Rwf488 million in Muhanga District, and two times the Rwf605 million in Nyagatare District. As a result, with the construction of a kilometre costing an average of more than Rwf1.22 billion in Rubavu District, the total contract cost was over Rwf7 billion [for 5.8 kilometre-tarmac road in question]. Over Rwf2.4 billion unrecovered money from fraud cases The AG’s report exposed that follow-up audits during the year revealed that 61 cases of fraud highlighted in our previous audits were yet to be resolved. During the year under audit, we noted that out of over Rwf2.5 billion for all the cases, public entities had not recovered public resources fraudulently utilised totaling over Rwf2.4 billion. The funds that were yet to be retrieved included stolen money (over Rwf460 million), funds used for personal gain and not accounted for (over Rwf490 million), funds and materials diverted and not reaching intended beneficiaries (over Rwf930 million), and funds withdrawn using forged documents/signatures (over Rwf520 million). In conclusion, the Auditor General said in his report that failure to recover fraudulently used public funds constitutes a loss to the Government. There is a need to strengthen follow-up mechanisms and enforcement of court decisions to ensure the timely recovery of stolen public resources, he observed. The poor-quality tables that cost a fortune Still, the AG’s report revealed cases where the supplied equipment were of poor quality which was not corresponding to the reportedly paid amount. This was the case of 70 workbenches (tables) supplied to Cyanika (TVT school), were procured for Rwf86.4 million by the Rwanda Polytechnic (RP), with a unit price of over Rwf1.2 million. “After conducting the physical verification of the supplied materials, the audit is of view that their quality is not commensurate to the cost paid by RP, the AG observed in the report. Buying sewing machines and equipment at abnormal costs The audit noted that RP (Rwanda Polytechnic) purchased sewing machines and equipment for Nyabihu TVET School at a higher price compared to the purchase price of the same equipment paid for other TVT schools. This led RP to incur an excess cost of over Rwf57 million that would have been saved if due care was exercised. The excessive costs were associated with the spending on foot operated sewing machine where the unit price for this equipment delivered to Nyabihu TVET School was Rwf755,200 which is Rwf501,700 more than the Rwf53,700 unit price for the same sewing machine delivered to other TVET schools. Others are the overlock seamer machine whose unit price was over Rwf2.47 million for the item delivered to Nyabihu TVET School, or more than Rwf2 million higher than the Rwf420,000 unit price for the same machine supplied to other TVET schools. Another staggering expense difference was observed in the embroidery machine provided to Nyabihu TVET School, where the cost was set at Rwf6 million, implying Rwf4 million more than Rwf1.98 million spent on the similar machine supplied to other TVET schools.