The long awaited Auditor General’s report for the year 2007 will be presented to a joint parliamentary session of both Senators and Members of the Lower Chamber today. The annual report outlines in detail whether taxpayers’ money was used appropriately or mismanaged.
It also makes recommendations to Parliament and the Prosecutor General’s office to take punitive measures against government officials implicated in the misuse of funds.
According to the law, it was supposed to have been tabled before the August House in October last year but was delayed due to lack of professional accountants.
According to the Auditor General, Evelyn Kamagaju; “the main problem we faced during auditing was lack of capacity in different entities we audited but the report was submitted to parliament in January.”
Normally, all the irregularities that are unearthed in the report are followed up and apparently, all cases of mismanagement of public funds that featured in previous reports have been tackled by either Parliament or legal institutions.
Most cases cited by the AG in previous reports were attributed to poor book keeping because of lack of skilled personnel in most of the public institutions covered by the audit.
There is also a shortage of competent personnel at various levels – an issue that usually leads to poor book keeping attributed to a shortage of professional accountants in the country.
In an earlier interview with The New Times, Kamagaju had pointed out that there are only 36 Rwandans registered as professional accountants in the entire country.
Previously reports from the AG’s Office unearthed issues to do with 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, the National Public Procurement Authority.
Several senior government officials have also 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 about Rwf 5.3 billion were not justified.