Bernard Mulengani

Members of the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) have called for the restoration of the services of  RV Jumuiya, the East African Community (EAC) vessel primarily used to remove and control water hyacinth.

As it stands today, the vessel remains docked and is a burden to the Community, according to members. The move, the members said, would enable the EAC to carry out its mandate towards enhancing navigation, research, educational and related activities.

Chairperson of the EALA Accounts Committee, Bernard Mulengani, presented the Report of the Committee on the Audited Accounts of the EAC for the period that ended in June 2010.

The report encapsulates the audited financial statements of eight reports referred to the Committee for scrutiny.

The report includes financial statements of the Lake Victoria Basin Commission, Lake Victoria Environment Management Programme II (LVEMP) and the Civil Aviation Safety and Security Oversight Agency (CASSOA).

Others are the Inter-University Council for East Africa (IUCEA) and IUCEA’s BIO-EARN and VICRES Initiative projects respectively.

The report, according to Mulengani, enumerates a number of areas and is largely unqualified. The report, however, gives a number of areas that need strengthening across the institutions covered.

On the audit findings of the consolidated financial statements of the EAC for the year that ended in June 2010, the report notes that the Secretariat had, at the time of the audit, not produced the Accounting and Procurement Manuals. However, the Secretary General has since signed the Manuals (with the Council of Ministers approving the same).

Mulengani noted that the internal audit function of the Secretariat was currently understaffed, thus underscoring a need to enhance capacity by undertaking recruitment.  In addition, members called for the independence of the Internal Audit Department and for the operationalisation of the Risk Management Charter by March this year.

On investments, the Council of Ministers was urged to approve the policy for proper guidance of investments for the EAC in a bid to effectively manage additional funds maintained in fixed deposits.

The Committee recommended to the Assembly that the Council of Ministers to ensure that the EAC improves and conducts due diligence while handling all EAC financial transactions.

Source The Guardian

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