Samia puts crooks on notice

PRESIDENT Samia Suluhu Hassan has expressed disappointment on flaws reported in the Controller and Auditor General (CAG) report, including over invoicing and underperforming public institutions.

She made the statement yesterday after receiving the report of the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB) and CAG for the year 2021/2022.

Among other issues, the audit report that was read by CAG Charles Kichere indicated that there has been over invoicing on payments that are to be made for implementation of development projects and programs.

The President called on project supervisors to be patriotic and ensure value for money in all payments for the greater interest of the country.

The President disclosed that over invoicing made the government spend an excess of 10bn/- in purchase of tablets.

Also, in the purchase of the cargo plane, the government was supposed to pay 35million US dollars as the last installment, but surprisingly the government received an invoice of 86million US dollars.

“It’s disappointing that all these are happening while we have project supervisors in each ministry and government institutions, the over invoicing occurs every now and then. This is unacceptable,” she said.

Adding; “This problem can be seen in all large projects, it’s so unacceptable…those who are responsible for supervising the projects have to be patriotic and aggressive in handling this”.

The President said further that all officials who aren’t able to question the unjustifiable invoices that are coming to their tables are unfit for their job posts, and that they have to be expelled.

Dr Samia asked Ministers and Permanent Secretaries to help the government in covering the loopholes and ensure effective spending of public funds as per the intended projects.

She moreover called on the state machinery such as the police force and PCCB to act accordingly and ensure the culprits are held accountable.

“The problem here is that no punitive measures have been taken to those who are involved, the measures may have helped to end this trend,” she said, noting that the move will play a role in sending signals that the government machinery is working.

In another development, President Samia instructed the Chief Secretary, Dr Moses Kusiluka to conduct an assessment that will establish the relevance of public institutions that have been making losses for many years.

She also called for an assessment of the necessity of using the Government Procurement Services Agency (GPSA) in government procurement.

She said the reports from the CAG and PCCB have indicated the low pace on procurement through GPSA, saying the agency has shown failure in matching with the government speed in execution of development projects.

“There is a huge delay in delivery of items that are procured through GPSA, there are also scenarios where the agency takes up to four years to deliver items that are being purchased by various government institutions,” said Dr Samia.

She said there is need to have an assessment on whether it’s necessary to continue using GPSA in public procurement or the government should use another system.

Regarding the assessment on public institutions that have been recording losses, President Samia said the government has to ensure proactivity of all the public organizations.

Her instructions came in response to the CAG report showing that there are public institutions that have been making losses every year.

According to her, public institutions were formed to do business on behalf of the government, but things haven’t been the same to some of the parastatals, including the National Development Corporation (NDC).

She said despite its dissatisfactory performance, for many years NDC has continued to receive a budget on its day to day operations, a move that increases government expenditure.

“NDC has been there since I was in secondary school, it has not been making positive progress for many years, yet it is still in operation, let us conduct an assessment on whether we still need to have these loss making institutions,” she directed.

“We have over 300 parastatals, there is no need to continue entertaining the loss making institutions, some of them have lost their relevance,” she added.

 

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