Auditor General unearths theft and misuse of public funds
Friday May 26 2023
Auditor General as unearthed misappropriation of public funds in the last financial year due to lack of strong internal controls in public institutions.
For instance, Auditor General revealed, unlawful and wasteful expenditures and diversion of public funds doubled in the last financial year.
Public expenditure that cannot be accounted for doubled from Rwf3.2 billion in 2021 to Rwf6.4 in 2022. Over Rwf2.4 billion was wasted while Rwf3.1 billion was lost in overpayment and over Rwf169 million found to have been diverted.
The Auditor General’s report, tabled before the parliament this week, reported that unlawful expenditure increased by 87 percent between 2021 and 2022. The Auditor General Alexis Kamuhire recommended that “chief budget managers have to put in place strong internal controls to avoid such cases of irregular expenditure.”
Last year, there was an increase in government expenditure from Rwf4,368 billion in 2021 to Rwf4,604 billion. The Auditor General audited 221 public entities, 11 more than audited institutions in 2021. The selection of audit topics focused on sectors aiming at improving citizens’ lives including agriculture, health, transport, education, infrastructure and social protection.
Although unlawful expenditure has doubled, institutions that implemented the Auditor General’s recommendations increased from 48 percent to 57 percent, which, the Auditor says, is an improvement.
The Auditor General’s report blamed the unlawful expenditure on lack of strategic plans or boards of directors to oversee their decisions in some public institutions. The Water and Sanitation Corporation (WASAC), was singled out not having a strategic plan or a board of directors.
The Ministry of Culture, Rwanda Education Board, and Rwanda Information Society Authority do not have strategic plans. Out of Rwf2.4 billion that was supposed to be recovered from the previous year, only Rwf177 million have been recovered.
Over Rwf800 million of the unrecovered money was meant to be spent on buying materials in different public projects, Rwf464 million were stolen assets while Rwf541 million was used for personal use. Recovered or fraudulently used funds constitute a loss to the government.