Reforms to spur public entities

The government has announced major reforms in public institutions and its entities to reduce audit queries and increase efficiency.

They also aim at ending government assistance to its commercially operating institutions, which are performing poorly.

The revelations were made in Dar es Salaam yesterday by the Treasury Registrar, Mr Lawrence Mafuru, during a meeting with heads of public institutions and organisations to discuss an evaluation report on management of the institutions from the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) and the Public Investment Committee (PIC).

Mr Mafuru said the two committees, which went through some of the public institutions' audit report by the Controller and Auditor General (CAG) discovered that some of the public institutions meant to operate commercially are heavily depending on the government assistance including payment of salaries.

He urged the public institutions operating commercially and performing poorly while depending on the government's assistance to pull up their socks, as the government will put an end to the assistance.

"I want to make it clear here today that the government will draw a line that we will not pay salaries for commercially operating entities ... if they cannot manage to improve their performance, they might as well let the workers go back home," he stressed.

Mr Mafuru warned the public institutions and its entities to prioritise payments of services received from other public entities, expressing surprise at the audacity of the institutions to prioritise service payments for private sector and setting aside that of public sector.

"You must settle debts amongst yourselves otherwise it is a failure for a head of a public institution to acquire service from another and fail to pay for that service on time and expect to continue receiving that service," he stressed.

The Treasury Registrar noted that another issue raised by the parliamentary committees is that public entities are way behind on auditing of their accounts, urging the institutions to set aside funds for auditing to ensure all audit reports are current.

"The government will not tolerate any public institutions that is behind in auditing its accounts ...We understand that the budget is tight but you must allocate funds for auditing to ensure these reports are current," he explained.

Meanwhile, Mr Mafuru has directed all public institutions to provide his office with a report of board meeting and attendances of board members to identify and remove those who do not attend the meetings.

"We know there are board members that do not attend such meetings for more than three times without any valid reasons, while others would just sign for the allowances ...

I want reports of all board meetings and attendance so that such members can be offloaded ... these boards are important in helping to increase efficiency of the public institutions," he explained.

On the same note, Mr Mafuru said it is a conflict of interest for public institutions heads to be board secretaries, calling for amendment of the respective law to ensure that this is addressed as soon as possible.

He stated that it was illogical for heads of the public institutions to be Secretary of the Board, taking minutes of the meeting and at the same time required to present reports and respond to queries.

The TR also directed the public institutions and entities to formulate an investment policy that will provide guidance when getting into partnership investments with the private sector.

"With an investment policy that will provide guidance on investment issues, will remove the current problem of investments that do not have a clear guiding principles," he explained, stressing that his office must also see the investment policies and also notified of any investment projects.

Reforms to spur public entities Reforms to spur public entities  Reviewed by on 11:01:00 PM Rating: 5

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