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Report: Why audit if findings are ignored by the CCM Government?

Discussion in 'Habari na Hoja mchanganyiko' started by nngu007, May 23, 2011.

  1. nngu007

    nngu007 JF-Expert Member

    May 23, 2011
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    By In2EastAfrica - Sun May 22, 11:26 pm

    Controller and Auditor General (CAG), Mr Ludovick Utoh

    A local NGO has queried why he government spends billions in taxpayers’ money to audit the accounts of local government authorities and yet it does not bother to act on subsequent reports.The Controller and Auditor General (CAG) has virtually every year been accusing local government authorities (LGAs) of ignoring audit findings, leaving questions over dubious expenditure unanswered.

    Uwazi at Twaweza, an initiative that promotes transparency and accountability in Tanzania and the rest of East Africa, says in an analysis that the amount of money that local government authorities have failed to account for increased from Sh9 billion in 2005/06 to Sh122 billion in 2009/10.

    The number of councils that failed to provide satisfactory answers to audit queries also doubled from 65 in 2005/06 to 129 in 2009/10, says the analysis titled ‘If findings are ignored, why audit’.It adds that the number of councils with other kinds of irregularities has also doubled, and controls to safeguard public resources weakened.

    The analysis further shows that while in 2006/7 there were 100 councils that had clean audit reports, the number fell to 65 in 2009/10, indicating a general deterioration of the quality of financial management and discipline.

    “For example, the CAG report for 2009/10 shows that in 91 per cent of all councils, internal audit unit is ineffective; in 64 per cent of councils internal control environment is weak and in 86 per cent of council accounting systems in place are inadequate,” says the analysis signed by the head of Twaweza, Mr Rakesh Rajani. It adds, however, that a clear indication that the financial management situation is improving as a result of auditing is lacking.

    It says the trend of audit opinions in the last few years has, as a consequence, been deteriorating and financial management seems to have gotten worse.

    The analysis says money allocated to LGAs is spent questionably without appropriate supporting documents such as payment vouchers. It is also not uncommon for goods to be paid for but not delivered, salaries paid to nonexistent workers and imprests that are not accounted for.

    It says while there were only 65 councils with unresolved audit queries in 2005/06, almost all LGAs have queries in 2009/10 with the exception of Iringa Municipal Council, Njombe District Council, Kilolo District Council, Chato District Council and Songea Municipal Council.

    In 2006/07 questionable payments were significantly, showing that it is possible for LGAs to adequately implement financial procedures.Since that time, however, much ground has been lost, and in 2009/10 questionable payments amounted to Sh9.2 billion, Uwazi at Twaweza says in its analysis, adding that the amount accumulated over five years is about Sh33.4 billion.

    “Such an amount is more than enough to provide adequate sanitation facilities for public secondary schools, to establish facilities for extracurricular activities and to provide scholarships for up to 80,000 students from poor families for five years.”

    However, the existence of councils that perform well, though few, suggests that others too can improve with the appropriate level of commitment. The analysis suggests that the situation should not be permanent, urging the government to start taking audits more seriously and to make sure that recommendations by the CAG are not ignored.

    Uwazi at Twaweza suggests that the parliamentary Local Authorities Accounts Committee (LAAC) should take a more active role in taking to task irresponsible accounting officers who fail to manage resources well.

    It further suggests that the LAAC could organise public hearings where citizens can participate and call accounting officers to testify on financial management shortfalls in their councils.
    By Lucas Liganga, The Citizen