2009-01-24 07:34:00 Richmond scam taught us - Sitta By Vicent Mnyanyika THE CITIZEN The Richmond emergency power supply scandal that was investigated upon by Parliament has shown the necessity for Members of Parliament to take a keen interest in multi-billion shilling projects. This was said yesterday by the National Assembly Speaker, Mr Samuel Sitta. He said it was important for Parliament to oversee large infrastructural contracts signed by the Government for accountability. He said that way the proper processes which guarantee value for money would be entrenched in society for the benefit of wananchi.He was opening the first Parastatal Accountability Conference in Dar es Salaam yesterday. He said parliament learned from the $172 million Richmond scandal that clear governance, transparency and institutional reforms were important to ensure that corruption is uprooted. "It is now a little over a year since the report on the Bunge committee on the Richmond Contract was delivered; we have learn quite a lot from the Richmond episode," said Mr Sitta. He emphasised that elected representatives should start scrutinising large contracts to combat corruption. Mr Sitta said parastatal organisations had no reason not to post good performances since they were not only key to the national economy but also for other sectors to thrive. The parliamentary Parastatal Accountability Committee together with the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development as well as the World Bank organised the two-day conference. It discussed the performance of six state utilities. These were the Tanzania Ports Authority, the Tanzania Electric Supply Company, Dar es Salaam Water and Sewerage Corporation, Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation, Air Tanzania Company Ltd (ATCL) and Tanzania Roads Agency. The Controller and Auditor-General, Mr Ludovick Utouh, told the conference that there was need to expand the mandate of the Parastatal Accountability Committee to include privatised agencies in which the Government had minority shares. Currently, the team and the CAG only audit parastatals fully owned by the state.Mr Utouh hailed the decision by Parliament to establish the committee that is chaired by Kigoma North MP Zitto Kabwe. Mr Sitta said Parliament would soon consider introducing the Public Oversight Accountability Committee to enforce roles of the house in overseeing more state organisations.