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System to track, recover public funds from defaulters

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The 14th National Leadership Retreat resolved to recover tax payer’s money that has been misappropriated. PHOTO | CYRIL NDEGEYA

The 14th National Leadership Retreat resolved to recover tax payer’s money that has been misappropriated. PHOTO | CYRIL NDEGEYA 

By Leonce Muvunyi

Posted  Sunday, March 19   2017 at  12:10

In Summary

  • Rwanda is yet to fully recover over Rwf2 billion of taxpayers’ money, which was found to have been misappropriated in the 2015/2016 financial year.
  • The automated checking system should be fully operational by the end of the year.
  • The 14th national leadership retreat resolved to task the districts with leading recovery efforts of tax-payers’ money that has been embezzled or misappropriated.

Rwanda plans to set up an automated electronic platform to track and recover public funds from individuals and contractors involved in fraudulent activities.

The platform is intended to make it easier to identify individuals or businesses who owe money to the government.

The decision is one of the resolutions made at the 14th National Leadership Retreat, which ended on March 2. The move was prompted by concerns that government institutions tasked with recovering funds are performing poorly.

The government is yet to fully recover over Rwf2 billion of taxpayers’ money, which was found to have been misappropriated in the 2015/2016 financial year.

According to Venantia Tugireyezu, a Minister in the President’s Office, the new platform will identify public funds defaulters.

“The new system will be used in both public and private institutions to identify defaulters and bar them from getting services before paying back the money they owe the government. This will ease recovery of public funds and encourage responsibility,” said Ms Tugireyezu.

The automated checking system should be fully operational by the end of the year.

Ms Tugireyezu said current public fund recovery structures are not efficient and do not specify which government body leads the recovery process between the districts and Ministry of Justice.

The 14th national leadership retreat resolved to task the districts with leading recovery efforts of tax-payers’ money that has been embezzled or misappropriated.

“Districts have all the necessary information about who owes the government money,” said Ms Tugireyezu.

Meanwhile, a new report by the Prosecutor-General’s office on corruption and public fund mismanagement blamed the failure to follow through on squandering of tax payers’ money on loopholes in the law.

“Our efforts to track fiscal fraud are frustrated by legal loopholes,” said Jean Bosco Mutangana, the Prosecutor-General.