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Badilisha Lugha KISWAHILI

Works ministry fails to track vehicles upkeep

20th April 2012
Controller and Auditor General (CAG) Ludovick Utouh

Works ministry has been taken to task by the National Audit Office for not putting in place a proper system of maintaining government vehicles, leading to loss of taxpayers’ money amounting to 3.9bn/- by December 2010.

The Tanzania Electrical and Mechanical Services Agency (Temesa) was rendering maintenance service to the government vehicles since 2006, but the government institutions did not settle their bills, accumulating 3.9bn/- in debt.

The report of the Controller and Auditor General (CAG) Ludovick Utouh, on the performance and forensic audits conducted for the period ending March 31 this year showed that the ministry has no maintenance policy in place, nor does it have adequate guidance on motor vehicle maintenance management.

The CAG in his report blames the ministry for not having specific quality standards and manuals developed for addressing maintenance of government motor vehicles.

“Despite the importance of government vehicle maintenance, the Ministry of Works has not developed adequate maintenance procedures to be implemented by Temesa, user departments and ministries,” he noted.

The CAG hit at the ministry again saying it has not been monitoring the performance of Temesa activities.

“It has neither conducted a performance evaluation of Temesa nor public institutions on how government motor vehicles are maintained,” he said.

The ministry had also been involved in not maintaining up to date inventories of government vehicles as a tool for monitoring their maintenance.

The CAG said in his report that maintenance of the vehicles is not efficiently managed by Temesa because not all vehicles are inspected before and after maintenance.

He said the selection of private garages responsible for maintenance and repair of vehicles has always been delayed or done without involving Temesa.

The CAG established further that the performance private garages and workshops were not adequately monitored as Temesa had no mechanism in place to monitor them.

According to CAG, Temesa doesn’t have monitoring plans, implying that it has withdrawn from its responsibility of managing vehicle maintenance.

Utouh said site visits to Temesa workshops located in Dar es Salaam --Vingunguti and MT depot workshops revealed that they had outdated equipment.

“Major equipments for workshop activities are grounded and in poor condition,” said the CAG, citing an example of MT depot where one of the equipments had not been replaced since 1947, when the depot was constructed.

The CAG said regardless of the weaknesses that have been discovered, the ministries of Works and that of Agriculture, Food Security and Cooperatives accounting officers need to know that government vehicles are increasing and are owned by over 200 government entities.

They include 57 in ministries, departments and agencies, 21 for regional administrative officers and 134 for local government authorities. According to the statistics, the government has registered 65,252 motor vehicles and motor cycles since December 18th, 1970.

But the CAG argues that there are no inventories maintained by the ministry of Works that show which vehicles are still roadworthy, owned by the government and are still operational.

Meanwhile Works Minister Dr John Magufuli who was hospitalised on Wednesday suffering from high blood pressure has been discharged after his health stabilised.

Dr Magufuli is now resting at his residence in Dodoma.

Speaking The Guardian yesterday the acting Dodoma Referral Hospital Medical Officer In-charge Dr Zainabu Chaula said Dr Magufuli who was received at the hospital at 08.10 am was discharged yesterday afternoon.

According to Dr Chaula, the minister had complained of a headache as he prepared to go to the parliament’s morning session.

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