Tanzania: Cag's 2017/18 Audit Report Lands Tanzania Ports Authority in Hot Water

Dodoma — Parliament's Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has asked the government to task the Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA) over the three irregularities as reported by the Controller Auditor General (CAG) reports for financial year 2017/18.

In its audit report, the CAG queried the TPA for failing to fully implement the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) system aimed at improving revenue collections, as well as purchasing land in Dodoma without following proper procedures, and irregularity in the recruitment of 32 employees.

PAC chairperson Naghenjwa Kaboyoka said the committee was shocked by TPA performance, as well as the authority's failure to implement the committee's directives for a long time now.

She said the government mostly depends on TPA as the main source of public revenue, but its failure to effectively implement the tax collection system hinders its performance.

"The government spent a lot of money to install the system which is not operational. The President has been talking about loss of revenue at the port from time to time," she said. The committee will not issue directives to TPA again on installation of the system, she stressed.

"How much are we losing due to not operating the system? The President depends upon the TPA to generate enough revenues with which to run the country," she said.

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She said failure to install the new tax collecting system has caused losses to the government, while adversely affecting revenue collections at the port.

Speaking during the committee's meeting here, Kilindi MP Omar Kigua said in August this year, they directed TPA and TTCS - the company which is contracted to do the work - to make sure that the system is fully and functionally operational.

"The one who is contracted to install the system has implemented three-quarters of the work and he has been paid a lot of money for it. When the TPA management was asked, they told us that they need another company for finishing the task," the MP said.

He said the absence of the tax collecting system has caused the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) to do the work in stead - work which is supposed to be done by TPA.

"This task can't be done manually; it needs to have a computerised system which we have been waiting for - in vain," he said.

The committee also queried the TPA for purchasing land in the Ihumwa area in Dodoma City at Sh6.3 billion without following public procurement procedures.

The committee says payment for the land was supposed to be done in two installments of 40 per cent each, and one of 20 per cent.But TPA paid 50 per cent, which was contrary with the procedures.

"There is nothing worse than making payments using public funds without following procedures... Also, it is indicated in the audit report that valuation of the land was done three years after the purchase," Mr Kigua said.

Ole MP Juma Hamad said absence of the tax collection system caused the TPA profit to shrink to Sh68.5 billion in the year to June 30, 2018 from Sh78.6 billion in the year that ended on June 30, 2017.

"We did not expect a large entity like this (TPA) to declare a profit of Sh68.5 billion," he said.

Responding, TPA board chairman Ignas Rubaratuka said TTCS was working as a sub-contractor of ERP-SAP which has accepted to finish the job at only 70 per cent of the total costs of the project.

The TPA director general, Deusdedit Kakoko, said they will implement what they have been directed to do by the committee, including installation of the tax collecting system.

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