Members of the EAC legislative assembly (EALA) sitting in Kigali, last week, recommended that the secretariat fix glitches in the bloc’s internal audit systems so as to maintain good value for money.
They underscored the need to match the region’s growth with serious financial management systems.
This came after the legislators listened to detailed findings by EALA’s Committee on Accounts on "how the internal audit systems of EAC organs and institutions are compromised because they cannot perform their functions as they should.”
The committee cited issues such as lack of independence, limited staff and lack of authorised manuals as factors that weigh down on the system.
While reading the report – an oversight assessment – finalised last month, the chairperson of the committee, Bernard Mulengani, noted that the bloc’s internal audit system operates in a manner that is inconsistent with the international audit standard benchmarks.
A member of the committee, Dr. Aman Kabourou, told the House; “this kind of anomaly should not be allowed to continue.”
Jacqueline Muhongayire from Rwanda noted that the bloc is growing at different levels, in terms of human resources and financial resources, and that consequently, the internal audit should be enhanced and strengthened in order to perform its functions effectively.
She called for the establishment of “a systematic disciplined approach to evaluate and improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the community.
“The internal audit must have a clear annual plan of activities, and base on this plan to produce periodic reports where it is necessary,” she said.
Mike Sebalu emphasised the importance of ensuring the value for money and proper spending.
Sebalu said: “The EAC is growing at a very fast pace and given the trend, it will continue growing. We need to match that growth with serious financial management systems as well as internal audit systems to be able to maintain good value for money.”
After the open debate, the report was adopted.
The Chairperson of the Council of Ministers, Burundi’s Hafsa Mossi, acknowledged the legislators observations and recommendations.