Rwanda: PAC Tasks Rwanda Polytechnic to Explain Overspending

15 September 2020

Rwanda Polytechnic (RP) spent more than Rwf22 billion in the financial year 2018/2019, or about Rwf7 billion more compared to its Rwf15 billion budget that was approved by Parliament, something that has irked members of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC).

In addition, RP offered tenders which are more than double the original value, as they were worth Rwf801 million compared to Rwf347 million budget, an increase of Rwf454 million.

That includes a tender for workshop tools which was supposed to be Rwf224 million, yet, it was offered at Rwf594 million, indicating additional spending of Rwf370 million.

Appearing before PAC during a public hearing held virtually on Monday, September 14, 2020, RP officials said that the overspending resulted from the academic institution's needs and budget reallocation as well as its own revenues.

They were providing explanations on the mismanagement cases identified while PAC was scrutinising the Auditor General's report of the year 2018/2019.

Diogene Nsabimana, Director of Administration and Finance said that the difference between the allocation approved by Parliament and RP's expenditure resulted from revenues that were generated by its colleges - Integrated Polytechnic Regional Centres (IPRCs).

He said that RP raked in Rwf5 billion, while the remaining Rwf2 billion was from Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA). He explained that KOIKA reached a grant agreement with the Workforce Development Authority (WDA), and WDA gave the project to RP so that it implements it. Then, the money was transferred to RP for that purpose.

"The Parliament approved the Rwf15 billion budget for you (RP), but you spent Rwf22 billion, do you think that is OK? We want you to tell us why you use a budget that is different from that adopted by Parliament, MP Christine Bakundufite challenged RP officials.

Nsabimana said that "he [the Auditor General] advised us that we should work with the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning (MINECOFIN) to see how the money we make can be captured in the national budget."

"RP generates money as a budget agency, but such money has not yet been captured in its allocation because of the system which has not yet been integrated to be able to capture the budget agency's own revenues. We seek advocacy so that such funds can be included in the budget approved by the Parliament if need be," he said.

On the tender issue, PAC Chairperson, Valens Muhakwa asked the RP officials where they got the extra Rwf454 million, and whether they talked with MINECOFIN as it is the one that allocates the budget.

"Did you have the right to use such extra money," he asked.

Alex Ruberwa, Deputy Vice-Chancellor in Charge of Administration and Finance at RP said that the tender budget increment was adjusted through reallocation.

"We agree that it is a weakness to spend more than the approved funds," he said.

MP Jeanne d'Arc Uwimanimpaye said "they (RP) had very poor planning by deciding to spend more than 50 percent compared to the budget passed by the Parliament. This is breaking the budget law. We cannot accept this".

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