July 22, 2013, (KHARTOUM) – Khartoum state legislative council MP Adil Mirghani, has claimed that government units are still retaining money that should otherwise be sent to the ministry of finance.
Mirghani said that these units within Khartoum’s state government are setting aside money it earns to pay salaries and bonuses for its staff.
“Where does that money come from?” he asked.
The controversial practice has sparked national debate regarding the constitutionality of withholding public money by various government units, given that the ministry of finance is the only body which has the legal mandate to collect and disburse government funds.
Mirghani gave the example of the Supreme Council for Peace which he said has no law governing its work and is unlisted in the budget.
The head of the Economic, Finance, and Labour Force subcommittee, al-Shiekh al-Mek, said before the Khartoum state legislative council on Monday that, according to Khartoum state’s closing accounts report, there were 12 cases of public money crimes in 2011, saying that 10 of them were settled and the total money recovered was 298,107 SDG which represents 46% and the remaining 2 cases amount to 453,867 SDG.
The auditor general report has mentioned that public money crimes including embezzlement, illegally disbursed money, and money waste have amounted to 659.74 million SDG in 2011 compared to 243.25 million SDG in 2010 which implies an increase of 168%.
Mirghani described the national audit report for 2011 which was presented by Al-Mek as “tampering” and added mockingly “as if we are narrating the Arab nights”.
“We are in 2013 and they are presenting a report for the closing accounts of 2011” he said.
In the same context, the lawmakers demanded that Khartoum state transportation company which gets a subsidy of 56 million SDG from the state’s government be privatised, adding that out of the 977 buses owned by the company, only 267 buses are currently working.
They stressed that some government accounts have not been reviewed since 2011, stating that 15 billion SDG has been disbursed in items which were not part of the federal or state budgets.
The head of the education and health committee, Mathaba Haj Hassan, demanded activation of a traffic police law and considered it one of the most important laws, calling for separating federal and state traffic money.
She added that the official government receipt for collecting fees which is known as (Form-15) was no longer enough to protect public money, stressing that connecting water fees to electricity fees has boosted government revenues.
Khartoum state legislative council has ordered all the state’s units to hand over their final financial report to the Economic, Finance, and Labor Force subcommittee prior to the end of the current session.
Sudan is one of the most corrupt countries in the world, according to Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index for 2012, which ranks the east African nation 173 out of 182.
Official exchange rate: 1 Sudanese pound (SDG) = 0.23 United States dollars (USD).