Accountability: PAC hearings to begin on Monday, go virtual

Members of the parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) during a hearing session in 2019. Photo: File

Over 50 public institutions will, beginning Monday, September 14, appear before the Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) as the committee embarks on the process to probe the poor management of state finances.

According to a statement from Parliament, the leaders of these entities will provide verbal explanations for irregularities in the management and use of state resources which were identified in the assessment of the 2018/2019 report of the Auditor General, which was presented to the Parliament on May 15, 2020.

 

The exercise, expected to run through October 6, will be held through web conferencing technology as a means of preventing the spread of Covid-19 pandemic.

 

The PAC hearings that were initially scheduled to commence on July 21 and conclude on August 5 were postponed due to the measures in place to curtail Covid-19 from further spreading.

 

The hearings follow PAC’s analysis of this report, other specific reports on public institutions, agencies and projects in question, where it was realised that there are some entities that have major asset management issues that have to be scrutinized.

The aim is to establish the loopholes and ensure those who were responsible for these losses be held accountable in line with upholding the culture of proper management of public finances, and transparency.

PAC Chairperson, Valens Muhakwa said that summoning institution leaders was based on intolerable poor management that was found in institutions and agencies they head both in complying with performance and finance accounting.

“We considered factors including whether citizens got what they deserved and the level at which public entities implemented previous recommendations of the Auditor General, as well as improvement in the management of the allocated budget,” he said.

The Auditor General’s report indicated that there were 32 in abandoned contracts in 2019.

This year, 71 percent of the delayed and abandoned contracts fell under Boards and Government Business Enterprises (GBEs) plus district clusters.

It also identified 22 stalled projects worth Rwf115.3 billion that resulted from inadequate contract management.

Every year, PAC is handed the Auditor General’s report so that it analyses it and drafts resolutions for the Plenary of the Chamber of Deputies which are then handed to concerned entities.

Such exercise should be done within less than six months from the time the Auditor General tabled the report to Parliament.

entirenganya@newtimesrwanda.com

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