14 February 2014

Rwanda: New Policy On Accountability for Public Funds Commendable

The new policy which seeks to make cabinet ministers assume liability for public funds that have been stolen, mismanaged or misallocated in their respective ministries is a step in the right direction with regard to accountability in the management of state finances.

This is a milestone as far as ensuring accountability for every penny spent in the public sector is concerned, and will certainly boost Rwanda's war on corruption.

Cabinet ministers are the most senior officials in their respective dockets and should therefore assume a level of responsibility when there is abuse of taxpayers' money right under their nose.

Previously mid-level officials and technocrats in ministries and public agencies have cited "orders from above" when asked to account for public funds, creating a dilemma as to who should exactly be held accountable since there were no sufficient legal mechanisms that bestowed responsibility upon those at the helm.

The new legal framework will however instill a sense of responsibility among top political leaders across the board, which means that even "orders from above" will have to conform to the law no matter the circumstances.

According to the Auditor General's office, public procurement remains the main avenue for misappropriation of public funds.

Some procurement officers and others involved with tenders in public institutions circumvent procurement procedures and illegally award tenders through single sourcing or quotations methods - as opposed to open competition - only to claim later that their superiors had influenced the decision.

The new policy now renders such excuses irrelevant because the higher authorities will be required to be the first ones to ensure value for money in public spending.

Greater power comes with greater responsibilities and the new rules will help uphold this principle.

Rwanda Jumps to 78th in Latest FIFA Rankings

Rwanda has moved up 13 places from 91st to 78th in the latest FIFA/Coca-Cola rankings released on Thursday at the FIFA … see more »

Copyright © 2014 The New Times. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.