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Parliament Remodels Battle Against Embezzlement

Parliament Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has recommended that Chief Budget Officers who misuse taxpayers’ money face punitive measures by the Prime Minister’s office before government goes into the trouble of recovering the embezzled funds.

The recommendation was made yesterday by PAC while presenting the performance audit report before the parliament.

The report covers the Auditor General (OAG) Reports of 2012/13 and 2014/15.

The PAC report showed that out of 28 recommendations in 2012/13, only 13 were implemented, 14% were half implemented representing 46% compliance.

The Prime Minister was given eight months to assess the implementation of the parliament recommendations on each institution mentioned in the audits.

Parliament said this is one of the ways to solve problems of embezzled funds in which government has been at a losing side for the last eight years since the PAC committee started evaluating and recommending how tax payers’ money is used.

On several occasions, government is taken to court to battle with its former employees over funds mismanagement, tender and procurement frauds.

According to PAC findings, only Rwf1.5 billionwas recovered out of Rwf3 billion that was embezzled in 2013/2014.

The money was supposed to be recovered within a period of six months and cases were not supposed to take more than a year. However, of the 378 resource mismanagement cases 78 were battled in court.

Government won 68 cases, 42 were closed, 90 cases still in court, while 68 cases have not been sent to court yet.

MP Théobald Mporanyi asked that PAC be given more powers to prosecute and investigate such cases.

“There are some institutions which keep coming back over the years. For example electrogaz, which turned to EWSA and Now separated into two entities (REG and WASAC) but even when it was divided it looks like there is a ghost in there which comes back every time to haunt these institutions,” Mporanyi said.

Some of the institutions which will have to make immediate adjustments include the Ministry of Local Government, Ministry of Trade and Industry which have lost billions of funds through poor project management, feasibility study and implementation.

For example, the Genocide Survivors Funds (FARG) was given over Rwf1.775 billion for income generating activities for survivors but there was no tangible impact on the lives of beneficiaries.

The Prime Minister was given (in general), eight months to present a report of how these OAG and PAC recommendations were implemented and also show the way forward on how government has progressed in amending the penal code, to have cases of mismanagement penalized in the law

The Express News

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