Tanzania missions in $1.9m excess spending

A villager in front of her house in Handeni, Tanga
The Controller and Auditor General (CAG) has uncovered some 22 embassies overspending more than Tshs3 billion ($1.88 million).

The CAG attributed the overspending to weak internal control over the revenue collected whereas 10 missions made under expenditure amounting to about Tshs 655 million ($409,375) calling for retention of policy.

The audit reports that unearthed irregularities over the use of public money in the central and local government authorities amounting to about Tshs 1.3 trillion ($812.5 billion) was tabled in the parliament early this month.

To task the government, legislators mobilized signatures for a motion for a vote of no confidence in Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda, but the exercise was referred to the next parliamentary session.

Records show that total exchequer issues released by the Treasury to the missions in the year 2010/11 were Tshs 44.19 billion ($27.6 million) whereas actual expenditure was Tshs 46.55 billion ($29.1 million).

However, the total revenue collected in the embassies amounted to Tshs16.48 billion ($10.3 million) against approved estimates of Tshs 13.74 billion ($8.58 million) resulting to over collection of Tshs 3.10 billion ($1.94 million) and under collection of Tshs 369.91 million ($231,194).

"The report provides a summary of the final results of the audit exercise carried out throughout all the 32 embassies during the first two weeks of March, 2012 for the period ended June 30, last year," stated the report.

It blamed  lack of internal audit services as making the Tanzania embassy in Bujumbura-Burundi fail to remit revenue to the ministry's headquarters of about Tshs 25.55 million ($15,967) while the law does not allow the mission to retain any amount from the collection account.

Also, the audit observed that a total of $16,340 equivalent to Tshs26.14 million collected during the year, was not banked meanwhile its remaining balance as at June 30,  2011 was found to be only Tshs16.40 million ($10,490).

"It implies that the embassy spent some Tshs 9.14 million ($5,850) to finance other activities from the collection account," stated the report.

Audit scrutiny revealed that the mission delayed for 12 months banking of revenue amounting to Tshs32 million ($20,000) collected from Visa fees, emergency travelling documents and passports.Also non submission of analysis of outstanding liabilities Tshs78. 87 million ($49,294).

The Tanzania embassy in Abu Dhabi made unapproved expenditure of revenue of about Tshs78.21 million ($48,881) collected from visa and attestation while at the mission in Muscat a sum of Tshs47.58 million ($29,737) was unbanked.

The Tanzania High Commission in Ottawa Canada established that a total of Tshs 19.26 million ($12,037) for renovations without signed contracts and payment records while a sum of TShs 88.27 million ($55,168) for various minor building works were done without following the Procurement Act and Regulation of 2005.

The High Commission management transferred a total amount of Tshs666.75 million ($41,672) from revenue account to Canadian Vote Account without approval from the Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

Furthermore, expenditure exceeded an ambit of Vote Tshs721.18 million ($45,074) in the Tanzania embassy in Berlin which resulted from approved estimates of Tshs1.50 billion ($937.5 million) against net spending of TShs2.22 billion ($1.39 million).

The Management of Berlin Embassy, paid a huge total sum of Tshs119, 335,730.65 which was equivalent to $74,584 to various Embassy's officials as refund costs for medical treatment provided.

Others are understatement of the revenue collected from visas amounting to TShs13, 841,590.06 ($8,650) and passport fees not remitted to Immigration Department in Dar es Salaam Tshs1, 033,419.84 ($645), loss on exchange rate fluctuations TShs213,366,409.79 ($133,354).

Other Tanzania missions with payment irregularities are those in Rome, Brussels, Brasilia, Tokyo, Beijing, Mombasa-Consulate under Nairobi Mission, Nairobi, Washington, New York, Addis Ababa, Lilongwe, Geneva, Stockholm, London and Moscow. 

Missions are mostly funded by Exchequer Issues from the Treasury and the revenue collection for operations to plug off the deficit between approved estimate and the amount.
Source: The East African Business Week,http://www.busiweek.com, reported by  Lucas Munte in Dar es Salaam
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