REB officials taken to task for sloppy accounting

Rwanda Education Board Director General Irené Ndayambaje appears before Senate yesterday . Sam Ngendahimana.

With reports of the Auditor General having continuously indicated serious accounting mistakes and lack of value for money in many activities undertaken by Rwanda Education Board (REB), senators yesterday urged the body’s officials to be more diligent with their work.

They made the call while meeting REB officials as part of their on-going assessment to find out the cause of the accounting and performance flaws in various government institutions as indicated by several reports of the Auditor General (AG).

Those who appeared before the Senate in Kigali yesterday include the Director General of REB, Irené Ndayambaje, who reassured the MPs that the board’s staff have been working diligently to correct mistakes indicated by AG’s reports in the past.

He said that the body has set up strong coordination teams that follow up on its different projects, starting from the distribution of didactic materials such as books and laboratory equipment to the management of different contracts signed by the board with its suppliers.

The Auditor General’s report for the fiscal year 2016/17 indicated serious accounting errors in REB financial statements, delays in rolling out the new Competency Based Curriculum in schools, and lack of maintenance and replacement plan for laptops distributed to both primary and secondary schools.

The AG criticised REB for idle science laboratories in schools across the country as needed reagents were lacking while a number of other secondary schools completely lacked science facilities.

Many senators blamed REB officials for lack of diligence in their work, urging them to do better in the future.

Senate Vice-President Fatou Harerimana urged the body’s officials to do away with any excuses for not fulfilling its responsibilities.

“You need to let us know if you don’t have enough staff to follow up on REB’s work,” she said.

Senator Perrine Mukankusi urged the REB officials to have clear procedures on how to manage contracts and properly keep books of accounts.

“Given the mistakes indicated, I wonder whether you have manuals of procedure,” she wondered.

The Senate president, Bernard Makuza, equally urged REB officials to ensure that accounting mistakes made in the past don’t happen again, calling on them to learn from institutions that got a clean audit report from the Auditor General.

“What prevents those in charge of administration and finance at REB to emulate institutions that have clean audit reports?” he asked, challenging the officials to ensure that they improve their way of accounting in future.