The New Times (Kigali)

13 December 2012

Rwanda: District Officials Train in Finance Management

Huye — Members of audit committees from various districts of the Southern Province on Tuesday completed a two-day workshop on Public Finance Management (PFM) procedures.

The workshop sought to facilitate the exchange of best practices among participants and to raise standards of PFM performance in decentralised entities.

It was organised by the Rwanda Governance Board (RGD) and brought together Chief Budget Managers, Procurement Officers, Internal Auditors, Directors of Finance, Districts Executive Secretaries and Revenue Officers from all Districts.

While closing the function, Jean Paul Munyandamutsa, RGB's Director of decentralisation, noted that the training was organised to help districts achieve clean audit reports.

An audit report is qualified as clean when an auditor determines that each of the financial records provided is free of any misrepresentations, he told The New Times.

"The past reports of the Auditor General [AG] revealed weaknesses which needed to be addressed," Munyandamutsa said, noting that the workshop was set to discuss the weaknesses and equip participants with enough skills to eliminate them.

Such functions were held in all provinces across the country, Munyandamutsa added.

According to the official, Rwanda is yet to attain the level of clean audit report, also known as unqualified opinion, the highest level of all four categories of audit reports.

"Many are those who think that attaining clean audit report is a matter of having sophisticated equipment, but that perception is wrong. It is rather an issue of attitude," Munyandamutsa said, citing the Auditor General Obadiah Biraro.

He noted that some past mistakes are still rampant in recent reports by district officials and attributed the mistakes to negligence and inconsistency.

Munyandamutsa observed that by putting all involved parties to task and putting them together, there was hope that the mistakes will be avoided.

"Peer review from members of the same group is expected to remove the mistakes, thus paving way for clean audit reports", he observed.

The Southern Province Executive Secretary Jeanne Izabiriza urged the participants to put the acquired skills to good use for the benefit of the society.

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