An audit report conducted into the Rural Constituency Development Fund is in its final draft, but it won’t be ready until the new government comes in.
A team from the Office of the Auditor Genera conducted the audit into the use and allocations of the funds and what impact, if there’s any, has the fund had in constituencies.
A source close to the audit team told the Sunday Star 18 selected constituencies were audited as first phase of the audit project and covered the period from 2009 to 2011.
The source said the RCDF funding for the remaining 32 constituencies will be audited in the second phase.
“What I can say at this stage is the report will not be available soon. It’s likely it will be available when the new government comes in,” the source said.
A number of different funding existed under the RCDF.
The Ministry of Rural Development, plus other ministries like Fisheries, Tourism, Forestry, Mines and Home Affairs administered these funds.
However, the current auditing focused only on four funds – ROC Micro development funds (RCMDF), Millennium Development Funds (MDF), Rural Support Constituency Development Funds and Rural Constituency Livelihood Funds.
An initial preliminary assessment review noted the importance of doing the auditing on basis that:
* Approximately $100 million for each year 2010-2012 has been allocated for rural development.
* That considering the big amount of funds allocated, it is in the public interest to determine what was actually achieved with the money, and if the projects had been worth it.
* With such public funds, the nature of the distribution of these funds ($100M) to the 50 constituencies each year must be made known.
*Because of the amount of negative opinion expressed in the public arena questioning whether these funds reach the people in the constituencies who need it most.
* And for the reason that it has been operating long enough for audit to make an assessment on its performance.
Whilst findings from the 50 constituencies’ RCDF report may vary, the lack of constituency development plan, weak project committee, project cannot be verified or located, incomplete housing projects, and the lack to sustainability of projects were identified to be common across.
BY BRADFORD THEONOMI