OP and 11 Govt. Ministries fail to spend over $20 billion
– AG Report
Spending on the part of 11 Government Ministries together with the Office of the President saw a massive shortfall of more than $20 billion last year. This is according to the most recently tabled Auditor General Report, which states that the entities failed to achieve their anticipated levels of capital expenditure activities during 2011 by exactly $23.691 billion. In fact, similar observations were made in previous reports which had affected the 11 ministries.
The Ministries under scrutiny are Finance, Public Works and Communication, Agriculture, Home Affairs, Legal Affairs, Housing and Water, Health, Local Government, Culture, Youth and Sports, Education as well as Tourism, Commerce and Industry.
Following the reading of the 2011 budget, a total sum of $59.716 billion was made available to the governmental entities to facilitate capital expenditure activities.
Based on the audit details, $17.430 billion was directed to the Finance Ministry, $14.038 billion went to the Public Works Ministry; $6.959 billion was channelled to Agriculture, $2.530 billion to Home Affairs, while Legal Affairs got $1.015 billion and $5.532 was granted to the Housing and Water Ministry.
The Health Ministry received a sum of $994 million, Local Government got $1.657, Culture, Youth and Sport was the recipient of $823 million while Education gained $3.305 and Tourism, Commerce and Industry got $464 million.
However the actual expenditure amounted to $36.025 billion reflecting a shortfall of $23.691 billion, according to the audit details.
In light of its findings, the Audit Office has recommended that the Ministry of Finance seek to encourage Heads of Budget Agencies to undertake projects and capital works during the earlier part of the year. Adopting such a practice, the Audit Office notes, would alleviate any problem or issues encountered which can be detected within a timely manner so as to avoid delays and ensure amounts are expended as budgeted.
The Ministry of Finance has concurred with the recommendation made by the Auditor General and as such, all Budget Agencies have been advised to commence preparatory work on bid documents so as to facilitate tendering with respect to the execution of capital works during the first quarter of each year.