Tanzania: Massive Irregularities Uncovered in LGAs

(file photo).

THE Controller and Auditor General Charles Kichere on Thursday tabled his Annual Audit Report for the year ending June 2020 which has uncovered massive financial irregularities in Local Government Authorities (LGAs), as he recommended state intervention in controlling unnecessary financial loss.

Mr Kichere tabled the reports in Parliament, covering general and performance audits, and later convened a press conference at the National Audit Office in Dodoma to provide a summary of the reports to journalists.

According to the CAG, his office handed over 900 audit opinions to all entities out of which 243 were handed over to the Central Government.

Others are LGAs (185), Public Corporations (165), Development Projects (290) and Political Parties (17).

"Out of these 800 were unqualified opinion (89 per cent), 81 were adverse opinion (9 per cent), 10 were qualified opinion (1per percent) and nine others fell in the category of disclaimers(1per percent). In LGAs, he said, out of 185 audited financial statements, 124 received unqualified opinion reports, 53 received adverse opinion reports, while eight of them were slapped with qualified opinion.

The eight LGA which received qualified opinion reports include Shinyanga District Council (DC). Others are Itigi DC, Singida DC, Igunga DC, Sikonge DC, Urambo DC, Momba DC and Tabora Municipal Council. In the shocking 2019/2020 report, the CAG report shows that about 18.8bn/- was collected by different LGAs but was never taken to any government owned bank account.

In about 22 LGAs, the CAG report shows that about 1.34bn/- was collected without considering or outside the Local Government Revenue Information System (LGRCIS). "Any revenue collection outside the official system is likely to be squandered by unscrupulous officials and it increases chances for corruption acts," he insisted.

The CAG's audit report further shows that there were transactions amounting to 4.8bn/- that were removed from the revenue system without supporting documents and that sometimes the removal of the transactions were not verified by accounting officers. The report also shows further that there was uncollected money amounting to 30.9bn/-.

"I went through various reports of revenue collection in the LGRCIS and realised that 30.9bn/- was not collected by 124 LGAs from sales of land plots," he said. In a dramatic turn of events, the CAG report shows that about 179.5m/- which was collected from various sources of four LGAs was spent even before being banked.

Another 2.3bn/- was collected by different agents in 18 LGAs but the money was never submitted to the said authorities, the CAG report further reveals. Mr Kichere who spent over two hours briefing journalists on the report revealed also that there were also transactions of 36bn/- that had several disputes which until June 2020 were yet to be incorporated in the revenue system of 67 different LGAs.

LGAs are also charged with a task of providing loans to women, youth and Disability groups. However, the 2019/2020 CAG report shows that about 37.8bn/- was yet to be repaid. The report further showed that there was another 34bn/- that was disbursed to 95LGAs for implementation of various development projects but until June 2020, the money was yet to implement the targeted projects.

Contrary to section 55 of the Tax Administration Regulations, there was 5.5bn/- that from 58 LGAs that was disbursed but during the CAG's auditing there was no proof for electronic receipts. In the report, nine LGAs were confirmed to have made dubious transactions, amounting to 614.5m/-, the money which ended in the pockets of unscrupulous public officials.

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