Every October, the Office of Auditor General is by law, required to present a report to Parliament. This report gives an annual analytical picture on how public funds are used. But five months after the deadline, the Auditor General has still not presented the report.
The AG report shows in detail whether the tax payers’ funds were used properly or mismanaged. It also recommends to Parliament and the Prosecutor General’s office to take punitive measures against government officials who misuse the funds.
Today, many government officials have been arraigned before courts for mismanaging government funds as a result the previous AG’s reports.
Since 2003, the AG has been presenting to a joint-Parliamentary session the reports, but last year, the report was not presented to the Parliament in time.
In an Interview with the Auditor General, Evelyne Kamagaju, she admits that the report has delayed for about five months.
A reliable source from Parliament told The New Times last evening that Kamagaju wrote to the Parliamentary Bureau and ‘apologised’ for the delay.
The Parliamentary Bureau is made of the Speaker and the two Deputy speakers.
The New Times could not by press time get the exact reasons she gave to Parliament for the delay. The source who declined to be named because he does not speak on behalf of the House said Kamagaju ‘apologised’ over the delay but promised that the report would be sent soon.
“We shall send it quickly,” Kamagaju said when pressed to give reasons of the delay.
The source said the delay is attributed to huge challenges within the AG’s office. Some of the challenges, according to our source include lack of personnel in finance management.
There is also lack of competent personnel at various levels yet the audit has to reflect the reality on the ground. This, according to our source, slows down the work. The delay also comes in the wake of lack of professional accountants in the country.
According to Kamagaju, so far the there are only 36 Rwandans registered as professional accountants in the country which implies that the country lacks sufficient professional accountants.
Apparently, all cases of mismanagement of public funds that have featured in Kagamagaju’s previous reports have been tackled by either Parliament or legal institutions in the country. Most cases cited by AG previous reports are attributed to poor books keeping beacuse of lack of skilled personnel.
“We have embarked on training and equipping accountants and auditors at all levels with standard and professional skills,” Kamagaju explained.
Previously reports from the AG’s office unearthed issues of some government officials who circumvent proper tendering procedures, creating ‘ghost’ companies and splitting one tender into many to avoid the obligation of forwarding them to the tendering processing organs of the government like National Public Procurement Authority.
Also, several senior government officials have previously been arrested and charged with breaching tendering procedures and misappropriation and mismanagement of taxpayers’ money.
In 2005, a total of Rwf 3.6 billion was unaccounted for while in about Rwf 5.3 billion were not justified.