Auditor General reveals gross corruption at NIRA

NIRA officials registering students

The Auditor General's inquiry into National Identification and Registration Authority (NIRA) registration of learners project has revealed gross financial mismanagement.
The December 2017 report titled "Verification of funds spent for the registration of learners exercise in the 2016/2017 under National Identification and Registration Authority" reveals that NIRA failed to account for huge sums of money, channeled billions of money to individual accounts and flouted procurement procedures.

For instance, the report says NIRA failed to account for Shs 8.4 billion paid to various officials as facilitation during the learners' registration.
The report says there were irregular payment of huge cash of up to Shs 2.1 billion to individual personal accounts in the months of May to June and "funds amounting to Shs 1.3 billion were deposited onto the personal account of the accountant."
It also faults the Authority for payment for paying huge cash advances to NIRA staff.

"For instance, one officer Darius Turyahikayo received a total of Shs 489 million in cash from the accountant."
The report points out irregularities in the procurement of laptops and batteries for the project. NIRA purchased 2,000 laptops and 6,000 laptop batteries for the project.
The over pricing of laptop computers and batteries, the report says led to loss of Shs 2.7 billion. Though all laptops were delivered, the report says only 350 batteries out of 6,000 batteries were delivered.
"Payment for the entire procurement (of laptops and batteries) amounting to Shs 7.9 billion was made on June 30th 2017; three days after contract signature before any delivery was done contrary to the contract," the report says.
The report further says the batteries delivered to NIRA were not original specification signed in the contract and there was no modification of the contract by NIRA.
The report faults NIRA for wasteful expenditure on procurement of laptops. The laptops were delivered late and were still in NIRA store when the registration of learners was going on. The Authority used last registration phase laptops to register learners.
In May last year, NIRA rolled out a massive registration project to capture data of school pupils aged between five and 16. The authority is the government entity mandated to register births and deaths in the country and to develop a national identification register for both citizens and legal residents.

The project was meant to give learners national identification numbers (NIN) which will be used for the issuance of a national ID, once the children turn 18 years.

© 2016 Observer Media Ltd