Auditor General, Alex Kamuhire, on May 12 tabled his annual report to a joint parliamentary session where he said that overall irregular expenditure reduced by 43 per cent from Rwf5.7 billion in 2020 to Rwf3.2 billion in 2021.
The irregular expenditures are in form of unsupported expenditure, partially supported expenditure, wasteful expenditure, unauthorised expenditure, and funds diverted or fraudulently utilized.
The report for the year ended June 2021 indicates that the number of unnecessary or unlawful expenditures reported has been reducing over the last three years, with wasteful expenditure on the lead from Rwf6,198 million to Rwf1,682 million.
Kamuhire said that his team audited 206 individual entities, seven direct investments by entities, 10 government business enterprises, 11 boards, 64 projects, 8 ministries, 18 central government entities, 28 local government entities, 30 district hospitals, and 30 former district pharmacies.
The percentage of audit coverage considered expenditure amounting to Rwf3,562 billion incurred by 108 public entities and projects which represents 91 per cent of the government expenditure budgeted for Rwf3,910.5 billion in the 2020/21 fiscal year.
Among the key findings by the Auditor General, the audits identified that cases of delayed and abandoned contracts were still prevalent in public entities.
A total of 37 contracts worth Rfw201 billion had been delayed in 28 entities. These comprise 25 delayed contracts worth Rfw90 billion identified during the year in review and 12 delayed contracts worth Rfw111 billion from the previous annual report that has not been finalised.
The number of contracts that have been abandoned is also on the rise, the report said. "During the current year audits, our audits noted eight cases of abandoned contracts worth Rwf965 million."
The Auditor-General said that most of these contracts have a delay of between three months to two years and this resulted in increased cost of Government projects and lack of value for money which adversely affects service delivery to citizens.
A total of 88 cases of assets worth Rwf37.2 billion identified were lying idle in 49 public institutions. These comprise 54 new cases worth Rwf28.8 billion and 34 cases worth Rwf8.4 billion noted in last year's audits.
Most of the assets reported above have been idle for a period ranging between 80 days and 13 years.
"To avoid the reoccurrence of unnecessary expenditure through idle assets, public entities should actively conduct a proper needs assessment before procuring assets," noted Kamuhire.
Audits revealed that 61 cases of fraud highlighted in previous audits were yet to be resolved. During the year under audit, public entities had not recovered public resources fraudulently utilized totalling Rwf2.42 billion out of Rwf2.52 billion for all the cases.
MP Germaine Mukabalisa said that there should be a further inquiry to know in which pockets lie the money which should otherwise be used for development projects for citizens.