The government has formed a high-level committee comprising all permanent secretaries that will be responsible for monitoring and following up recommendations made by the Controller and Auditor General (CAG) annual reports.
The Chief Secretary, Ambassador Ombeni Sefue, the chairperson of the committee, revealed this in Bagamoyo on Monday, where he officiated the opening of a five-day annual auditors's conference. He said that the committee would ensure the National Assembly and the general public were thoroughly informed on actions taken by the government in response to audit queries.
Ambassador Sefue urged Tanzanians to condemn corrupt practices, expose evil person and stop glorifying those with ill-gotten wealth. He said ethics and integrity issues cut across the entire spectrum of the society. "Let me emphasise that corruption and lack of integrity is not simply a public service issue. It is a social and cultural issue," he said.
He added that: "If the society accepts, tolerates and even glorifies ill-gotten wealth.. and if religious organisations turn a blind eye to ill-gotten donations and contributions and media keeps on referring to appointments in public service as an opportunity to 'eat,' the problem will not end."
He further said it was saddening to see people regarding those who retired with riches after stealing public property and ridicule the ones leading modest life after serving the nation honestly. "We should get to the point where integrity carries its true meaning and doing the right thing even if nobody is watching," he said.
He said that President Jakaya Kikwete has decided to increase transparency in government as one way of dealing with issues of ethics and integrity. He said that the president is committed to the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), whereby the government is evaluated by its own people as well as by other African countries, with a view to strengthening institutions and processes.
Ambassador Sefue said that President Kikwete has also directed a lot of resources into strengthening the National Audit Office of Tanzania to ensure it has the legal, institutional, financial and human resource capacity to deliver its mandate. The Controller and Auditor General, Mr Ludovick Utouh, said that behaviour change in auditors and all civil servants was much needed, particularly on safeguarding our resources which must be used economically, efficiently and effectively in creating value in the country's development process.
He said recent changes in the cabinet and the action being taken against local authorities officials implicated in misuse of public funds has raised public confidence in the government and parliament. "We believe that in order for our country to develop as expected, we need to attain high levels of ethics and integrity," he said.