The Minister for Justice and Attorney General, Jonhston Busingye, has asked legal officers in public institutions to step up accountability levels in their institutions to avoid losses and being dragged to courts of law.
Minister Busingye was meeting over 120 legal advisors from public institutions in the country to discuss the new reforms that have recently been rolled out to boost accountability in public service.
He said that government has been sued hundreds of times this year alone, due to flaws in the advice offered by some of the legal officers.
“This year alone, government has been taken to court 543 times which is not good; although we have so far won half of them,” Busingye said.
He added that the Government wants to significantly minimise chances of being taken to court to below 100 a year.
Some of the most glaring legal flaws were sighted in Rutsiro District, in the water and electricity utility bodies, and in Rwanda Biomedical Centre, among many others.
He revealed that his ministry is looking into developing a system that will track the flaws exhibited by an individual legal officer such that when it is discovered that it was a capacity issue, measures would be devised to upgrade their capacity but where they have demonstrated persistent failures, this should be reflected in their CVs.
The legal officers expressed concern that, at times, their bosses at their respective institutions ignore their advice, but the minister insisted that this should not be happening, adding that they should be the safety valve against misuse of public funds.
He urged them to report directly to the Ministry of Justice when they face such challenges.
According to a report presented by Minister Busingye, some government projects and facilities are underutilised or operate below capacity.
The report also cites loss of public funds resulting from poor contract drawing and management, totaled up to about Rwf207 billion for 109 contracts that were delayed or abandoned.