Auditor General Alexis Kamuhire has said that the execution of 55 project contracts worth Rwf644 billion was delayed in 2022, indicating that the value of the delayed projects was Rwf201 billion – implying that such cases more than tripled.
He disclosed on Tuesday, May 2, while presenting to a joint session of Parliament his annual audit report findings for the 2021/2022 fiscal year, which ended on June 30, 2022.
According to the AG’s report for the 2020/2021 financial year, there were 37 cases of delayed contracts worth over Rwf201 billion in 28 public entities and projects.
Kamuhire told both Senators and MPs that the delay was between 30 days and four years.
“These delayed projects should be expedited,” he said.
Connected to that, he said that there are three projects in Water and Sanitation Corporation (WASAC) and Rwanda Transport Development Agency (RTDA), where the entities that monitor their implementation were given an extra Rwf2.7 billion after their deadline was extended.
“The delay in implementing projects makes them more expensive,” he said, indicating that project monitoring should also be reviewed so that only the money corresponding to the work done is paid.
On unlawful expenditures, Kamuhire said that they doubled to Rwf6.4 billion in 2022 from the Rwf3.2 billion recorded in the previous year (2021).
Unlawful expenditures include wasteful, unsupported, unauthorized spending and fraudulent use of funds.
“Chief Budget Managers have to put in place strong internal controls to avoid such cases of irregular expenditure,” Kamuhire said.
Improvements in State finance management
Overall, Kamuhire said that, compared to the previous year, there was an improvement in audit outcomes and a modest improvement in the implementation of his office’s recommendations.
The Office of the Auditor General (OAG) stated that fully implemented recommendations increased from 48 percent in 2021 to 57 percent in 2022.
On the audit coverage, the OAG indicated that this year under review saw an increase in the extent of Government expenditure audited to 95 percent from 91.1 percent in the previous one.
For the year ended June 30, 2022, the OAG said, total Government expenditure was Rwf4,604 billion, and that it audited expenditures totalling Rwf4,368 billion.
Kamuhire indicated that the OAG audited 221 public entities (for both financial and compliance checks), compared to 210 public entities audited in the previous year, adding that it also conducted 14 performance audits, 6 Information System audits, and 12 special audits.
“The selection of audit topics focused on sectors aiming at improving citizens’ lives including agriculture, health, transport, education, infrastructure, and social protection,” he indicated.
Compared to the previous year, there was a gradual improvement in audit outcomes and a modest improvement in the implementation of the previous year’s recommendations.
“68 percent of the entities we audited got an unqualified opinion in financial audits, and 61 percent got an unqualified opinion in the compliance audits of laws and regulation on public spending, and 53 percent of unqualified opinions on compliance with laws and regulations to realize value for money,” he said.