After the presentation of the 2015/16 AG report, by the Auditor-General Obadiah Biraro to a joint session of both chambers of Parliament yesterday, a number of MPs talked to The New Times about the report.
MP Edward Bamporiki stressed that it is sad that, among others, despite numerous recommendations on how things can be improved, there is a declining trend in implementation of Auditor General’s recommendations as required by law.
“This is sad. A lot of money is lost and the report by the Auditor General shows a lack of our oversight yet the law permits us to do what is necessary. History will judge us (harshly) if we do not act accordingly,” Bamporiki said.
“We need to change our way of doing things and conduct our oversight duties properly so that Rwandans’ money is put to good use.”
MP John Ruku-Rwabyoma suggested that there are many unemployed people who, if given a small fee, can help in the battle against graft.
There must be a revolutionary way of looking at the challenges highlighted in the Auditor General’s report, the lawmaker said, or things will not change.
He said: “We need to tackle the problem collectively. And there must be a revolutionary way of looking at it. There are many unemployed people who can help, and earn. Let’s create collection agencies to follow up on the swindlers. “
Collection agencies, he said, will ensure that no more public funds get lost in thin air.
To shed light on how that could work, the lawmaker said that a three percent commission could be given to whoever helps the government recover stolen money at the value of Rwf1 billion.
MP Jean Thierry Karemera, a member of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), said: “At a point in time when we would have expected to see improvements, we see a repeat of the same irregularities. I don’t understand what is going on with the heads of public institutions. Time and again, the Auditor General, and the Parliament, make recommendations but you wonder, do they value our recommendations?”
“For example, in the previous report, poor public finance management manifested in all districts. It is the same thing in this new one. Leaders and heads of institutions keep appearing before the Public Accounts Committee and admit to wrongs. They say they will not repeat. But it is happening again and again. At REB, RAB, UR, and others, what is the problem with the leadership there?”
For MP Juvenal Nkusi, the PAC chairperson, the Parliament which approves the heads of the government institutions mentioned in the reports by the Auditor General, also has the power to act.
Nkusi said: “In the private sector, when a company presents such a report to shareholders, tough measures follow. Would a chief budget manager still be at the helm of a company after a report shows such issues? Action must be taken otherwise we shall continue talking and things won’t change.”
Nkusi said he does not comprehend why mismanagement of public funds should be forgiven, year in year out, when people appear before his committee and often confess to wrong doing.
Compiled by James KaruhangaFollow https://twitter.com/KarhangaJames