Managers facing axe in Rwanda over public funds

Saturday July 21 2018

water shortage

Residents queue to fetch water at a communal water source. Rwanda Water and Sanitation Corporation is one of the institutions with rampant problems in public financial management. PHOTO | CYRIL NDEGEYA | NATION 

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Persistent adverse reports from the Auditor General about some Rwandan public institutions could see chief budget managers lose their jobs if the Prime Minister’s Office implements parliament’s recommendations.

The Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee, while presenting their final report of their scrutiny of the year ended June 2017 by the Auditor General, said sacking of public servants behind the mismanagement will serve as a lesson and provide opportunity for more competent individuals.

“The premier should immediately fire chief budget managers whose financial statements have recorded adverse opinion or disclaimers for three consecutive times. That is those who scored below 60 per cent of the Auditor General’s recommendation or have, in one way or the other, plunged the state into losses,” said Theoneste Karenzi, deputy chair of the PAC.

But Ignatienne Nyirarukundo differed: “I do not think firing of the chief budget managers will be the best solution for public finance management. Why are we forgetting their senior managers and/or the boards?” Mr Nyirarukundo asked.

Juvenal Nkusi, chairperson of PAC, said that sackings can be an integral part of resolving some of the rampant problems in public financial management since many of the advisers and board of directors have been failing on corporate management and cited the Water and Sanitation Corporation and its subsidiaries, Rwanda Revenue Authority and some local government entities such as Rwanda Biomedical Centre and the Ministry of Health.

The report named at least 13 public institutions with serious financial flaws. Of Rwf7.9 billion ($9 million) recorded in gross mismanagement, Rwf3.2 billion ($36 million) were expenditures without supporting documents; Rwf1.7 billion ($1.9 million) partially supported; Rwf2.3 billion ($2.6 million in wasted expenditure; Rwf244 million ($280,415) were unauthorised and up to Rwf400 million ($459,702) recorded in fraudulent activity.