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CAG exposes 3.03bn/- overexpenditure in foreign missions

14th April 2012
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Controller and Auditor general, Ludovick Utouh

A Report by the Controller and Auditor General has established that 22 diplomatic missions and embassies have overspent over 3.03bn/- due to weak internal controls.

The Controller and Auditor general, Ludovick Utouh, told reporters here that ten missions have recorded underexpenditure of 655.75m/-, which called for review of the retention policy.

According to the CAG, total revenue collected in the missions amounted to 16.48bn/- against approved estimates of 13.74bn/-, resulting to overcollection of 3.11bn/- and undercollection of 369.91m/-.
He said many embassies lacked internal audit services, calling for accounting officers to establish effective internal audit units.

He explained that the units had  to appraise the soundness and application of accounting, financial and operational controls within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Iinternational Ccooperation and Tanzania missions abroad.

He said records showed that total exchequer issues released by the Treasury to the missions and embassies in the year 2010/2011 was 44.19bn/- whereas the actual expenditure was 46.55bn/-,” said the CAG in his report.

According to Utouh, the audit had observed a total of USD 16,340, equivalent to 25.55m/-, collected by the embassy of Tanzania in Bujumbura, Burundi   during the year 2010/2011 was not banked at all.

He said the remaining balance as per June 30 2011 was found to be only 16.40m/- (USD10, 490).

“This implies that the embassy in Burundi had spent 9.15bn/- (USD5, 850) to finance other activities from the collected account.

He said the Bujumbura embassy had delayed banking of revenue of about 32m/-  but also had not submitted analysis for outstanding liabilities of 78.87m/-.

Regarding the embassy in Rwanda, Utouh said the internal auditor had never provided a report to the embassy.
The CAG said in general that many of the missions and embassies abroad were experiencing problems that needed intervention.

He said the decision of the paymaster general in collaboration with the permanent secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, to allow embassies  and missions abroad to retain 100 per cent of revenue collected had resulted in misappropriation of funds by some sub warrant holders.

He said the release of inadequate funds as appropriated by parliament had resulted in budget deficiencies.

He mentioned the activities as presentation of credentials where some ambassadors failed to present them due to lack of funds.

Others included rehabilitation, maintenance and repairs of buildings, motor vehicles and settlement of outstanding liabilities.

SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN
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