The Auditor General of State Finances in Rwanda has published the audit report for the financial year 2021/2022 that ended on 30 June 2022. The report, which commended decentralized administrative entities for significant improvement and good performance, was presented to the plenary of both chambers of Parliament on 2 May 2023, following the audit exercise covering all the Districts and the City of Kigali whereby eleven entities obtained the “unqualified or clean audit opinion for financial management”.

The Districts that obtained clean audit statements on financial management are: Bugesera, Burera, Gatsibo, Huye, Kayonza, Musanze, Ngororero, Nyamasheke, Nyaruguru, Rusizi and Rwamagana.

Moreover, six Districts acquired clean audit statements on compliance with laws and regulations, namely: Gisagara, Karongi, Musanze, Nyamasheke, Nyaruguru and Rubavu.

The previous financial year, neither district had got clean audit statement on financial management while only one District, Rusizi, had acquired clean statement on compliance with laws and regulations.

In the framework of decentralization, local governments are responsible for the implementation of all Government programs and policies, provided the subsidiarity principle. This responsibility goes with complex challenges, particularly pertaining to scarce resources, increasing demands and emerging priorities. Such a complex working environment remains one major factor hindering decentralized entities from achieving clean audit statements.

Local Governments welcomed the auditor general’s opinions. The performance is mainly due to sectoral collaboration and synergy of different institutions involved in local public financial management.

“It was a very good news to us as chief budget managers. Such an unprecedented performance recorded by eleven decentralized entities in one financial year Auditor General’s Report is a strong motivation to all districts staff who consider this as a result of their efforts”, said Henri Kakooza, Chief Budget Manager (CBM) in Rwamagana District, who doubles as Dean of Local Government CBMs.

Kakooza admitted that; collaboration of different institutions particularly the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning (MINECOFIN), the Ministry of Local Government (MINALOC), Rwanda Revenue Authority, the Office of the Auditor General and RALGA, has been the key factor behind this achievement.

“We have had several advocacy engagements organized by RALGA, bringing together all concerned stakeholders to discuss the issues that had hampered districts financial management for so long.  During those engagements, we exposed the challenges and described roles and responsibilities of every institution and we set a clear roadmap to address them. The Auditor General himself attended those sessions and realized the challenges facing the local government in managing public funds”, he added.

However, there are still issues especially regarding compliance with laws and regulations and value for money. Districts shall continue working hard to achieve clean audit statements on these aspects.

“It requires hard work. We shall maintain this performance on condition that we remain vigilant. We also need more technical engagement sessions to discuss outstanding issues and to allow peer-learning among ourselves,” Kakooza said.

RALGA congratulates its members for such an impressive performance in public finance management, and reaffirms its commitment to provide required support and do necessary advocacy to enhance efficiency in local public finance management.

“Sustainable development is a result of many factors, including sound public finance management. Achieving clean audit means that; public funds allocated to districts were diligently utilized in the interest of the citizens. Moreover, it is a sign of multilevel collaboration, considering various players in the decentralized governance. RALGA dedicates this achievement to its members, the Government at large and development partners. We shall keep supporting our members towards excellence. Also, we shall continue the advocacy work and build necessary capacities at local level in order to overcome the prevailing challenges. We remain confident and hopeful that it is possible”, said Ngendahimana Ladislas, Secretary General of RALGA.

Internet Photo: The Auditor General Presenting Audit Report to the parliament