KIGALI - The Auditor General’s report of the Fiscal Year 2007 has unearthed a whopping Rwf6.5b of taxpayers money missing.
While presenting the long awaited annual report to a joint session of Senators and Deputies, Evelyn Kamagaju told lawmakers that 86 percent of the funds unaccounted for were in the Local Government ministry.
“In all government entities audited in 2007, we discovered a sum of Rwf 6,524,683,240 unaccounted for. Much of this money is either teachers or medical practitioners’ salaries that could not be justified,” said Kamagaju.
The figure has gone up by about Rwf 1.2b compared to the previous report which had indicated a sum of Rwf 5.3 billion ($9.7 million) that was unaccounted for during the fiscal year 2006.
The speciality of the 2007 report is that it lists a number of forgery cases that happened on the district levels especially officials falsifying bank cheques and altering figures in documents.
Audited Government bodies were awarded tenders worth some Rwf 2.1 billion without the approval of the Rwanda Public Procurement Authority (RPPA) as the law stipulates.
The report also unearthed Rwf7.6b debts payable to the government while it is also supposed to receive a sum of Rwf 27.5b receivables from debts – all these funds were not indicated in books of accounts that the Auditor General audited.
The inter-entity transfers are not supposed to be put into the state consolidated financial statements, but according to the AG this was not done and an amount of about Rwf 15.3bn of state expenditure transacted among different government entities was revealed by the report.
Meanwhile, other highlights in the report indicates that only 26 Government institutions met the deadline of sending their audit reports to the Auditor General which was March 31, 2008 while 23 of them sent their reports late by 3 months or so.
The delays are attributed to limited capacity by different institutions to conduct audits.
Kamagaju however added that some institutions sent unbalancing reports and that Financial Statements contained contradicting figures compared to the State Consolidated Financial Statements sent by the Ministry of Finance.
“Some institutions are adamant and not cooperative. Most of them don’t keep proper books of accounts which delay our work. Some take time to respond to the AG’s call and here MINECOFIN and Chief Budget Managers should intervene,” said Kamagaju.
She pointed an accusing finger at the School of Finance and Banking (SFB) and the National Institute of Statistics for availing unbalancing figures and hinted that over Rwf 53m was spent in bonuses and unofficial payments.
Also, some of the districts highlighted in the report for mass mismanagement of funds include Nyamagabe (Southern Province) with Rwf17m and Karongi (Western Province) with Rwf16m embezzled or mismanaged.
The report which indicates how much the central government and public organizations spent during the fiscal year 2007 comes at a time when the public is questioning the delay.
She countered this saying that the delay is caused by lack of human resources as there are still few qualified accountants in the country.
Kamagaju said that her office is working hand-in-hand with the office of the Prosecutor General to have all those implicated in the report brought to book.
She said that a Public Audit Bill which will be used to charge all those failing to meet public audit requirements is in the pipeline.