Repeat observations

One of the depressing things about reading the annual RAA report is not just the findings, but how the findings seem to repeat over the years and quite frequently the agencies and at times even the characters.

There is almost a Déjà vu feeling about the whole thing and you can almost hear the frustration of the auditors who know they will be coming up with more of the same next year.

If one talks to auditors and for that matter even ACC officials their biggest grouse is that once painstaking investigations and findings are done the executive and even the Parliament does not move to correct the systemic issues.

All RAA reports come with recommendations to plug the leaks and improve systems, but little heed is paid to it until the same thing is repeated next year.

In the middle of the Transformation reforms it will be important for both our executives and MPs to pay closer heed to the systemic issues that keep getting repeated every year.

One common issue that auditors complain about is the lack of internal checks and controls in government agencies even today.

This not only leads to graft but also other issues like quality of work suffering and poor implementation.

Another issue for both RAA and ACC is misplaced compassion on offending officials with either no action being taken or them being given a second chance. The worst action they usually face is a transfer only to rinse and repeat the same actions elsewhere.

Medical procurement was supposed to be resolved back in 2009 and 2010 with a series of investigations by the print media and ACC and supposed reforms after that, but it has come back to rear its head.

The repeat findings of the PCAL officials engaging in conflict of interest and even fraud behavior shows a lack of seriousness of the management, and the permissive culture that lets these things thrive. 

We must change and we must do better.

“It is not only what we do, but also what we do not do, for which we are accountable.”    

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