High-ranking officials, staff members from 85 public institutions and 31 projects are expected to appear before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) members to explain cases of public asset mismanagement raised by the Auditor General. The exercise will take place from September 5-23, 2022, in the PAC room at the Parliamentary Building, according to a statement issued by Parliament on Wednesday, August 31. The public hearings target institutions and projects that have been identified with irregularities in the management of public finances and resources in the report of the Office of the Auditor General for the fiscal year 2020/2021. Public entities that continue to be answerable over public finance management in PAC include Rwanda Social Security Board (RSSB), University of Rwanda (UR), Water and Sanitation Corporation (WASAC), Rwanda Energy Group (REG), and Rwanda Agriculture and Animal Resources Development Board (RAB). Among projects to be considered are Rwanda Sustainable Water Supply and Sanitation Program (RSWSSP). Others are Electricity Access Scale-up and Sector-wide approach Development Project (EASSDP); and Scaling Up Energy Access Projects (SEAP). For health projects, there is GF (Global Fund) Grant-HIV AIDS Program Grant; GF Grant-Malaria Program Grant; and Vaccine Introduction Grant by Global Alliance for Vaccine and Immunisation. In the agriculture sector, projects to be part of PAC hearings include the Post-Harvest and Agribusiness Support Project (PASP); Rural Sector Support Project (RSSP III); and Sustainable Agricultural Productivity and Market Linkage Project (SAPMP). Others are Land Husbandry, Hillside Irrigation and Water Harvesting Project (LWH); and Rural Community Support Project (RCSP). Stalled projects in public entities The AG’s report also identified 11 projects worth over Rwf102.9 billion that had stalled in nine public entities. Contracts for these projects had been terminated due to non-performance, budget constraints, or delay in execution. This is the case of the Base-Butaro-Kidaho Road, an infrastructure initiative under the Rwanda Transport Development Agency (RTDA). Located in Northern Province, the 63-kilometre road project would connect the districts of Rulindo and Burera, thus facilitating tourism and boost economic activity, according to information from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning. The road would connect the emerging touristic centre of Burera, Ruhondo lakes and key infrastructure like the University of Global Health Equity, Cancer Reference Hospital of Butaro, as well as link the country to Uganda through Cyanika border. On May 15, 2018, the Governments of Rwanda and India signed a concessional loan agreement worth $66.6 million (about Rwf69 billion based on current exchange rates) for the construction of the Base-Butaro-Kidaho road. The loan was provided by the India Export-Import Bank (India Exim Bank). But, four years after the loan was secured, the road has not yet been constructed. Last year, the Ministry of Infrastructure informed Parliament that the Government was looking for another financier to implement the project. It indicated that the loan from the India Exim Bank was charged at 2 per cent interest, but expressed that it was like a ‘tied aid’ because most of the road construction materials needed in the project – about 65 to 70 per cent – would be imported from India. It pointed out that the government realised that it was impossible to source construction materials at that rate from India, especially those that were readily available locally such as sand and cement. In accordance with the law, PAC has the responsibility of analysing the report of the Auditor General of State Finances with respect to the use of public funds and property for the preceding year. As part of the exercise, it also prepares draft resolutions to be adopted by the Plenary Sitting of the Chamber of Deputies within six months from the time the Auditor General submitted the report to Parliament.