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Auditor General warns Public Projects without Monitoring, Feasibility Study costing billions

Ethiopia's Auditor General told Members of Parliament (MPs) that the trend by the National Planning Commission (NPC) to allocate budget for public development projects without proper monitoring and evaluation of feasibility study has continued.

At a parliamentary session held on November 24, 2020, Federal Auditor General, Gemechu Debiso pointed out that the nation is still losing billions of birr on public projects and urged for it to be stopped and corrected.

However, the chief auditor declined to mention by name the projects that were launched without adequate research and study.

In addition, Gemechu told institutions to review their project management and control systems.

Although government institutions should purchase through bid processes as per the procurement law, the auditor explained, the practices of procuring outside government guidelines and directives have made it impossible for his team to audit the financial flow of such institutions.

The auditor, speaking about the quality of data and report from some government organizations, stressed the need for reporting verification systems to avoid false information.

In connection with malpractices and auditing issues around higher education institutions, Gemechu spoke of universities that start profit making enterprises supported by government budget. He further claimed that they could not know how the profit from the enterprises was spent. 

Gemechu said that some universities are engaged in public transport, although there are no accounts of authorities allowing such practices.

"Some of them went to work before they even had legal permit or license to engage in a particular business,” said Gemechu.

Similarly, the Auditor General called on the Government Procurement and Asset Disposal Agency to ensure that various assets of government offices are properly registered.

He said "there are many undisclosed and unregistered government assets in several government institutions," adding that it has made it difficult for them to audit such properties.