Sunday, February 28, 2016

Commentary - Somaliland budget , foreign Aid and transparency

Hargeisa Somaliland - I have Just learned that 60% or even more of the $253million budget for this financial year is earmarked for securing the country.
Another junk of the budget will cover the salaries of 12,000 civil servants. It is not only this year but the budget expenditure  has been going on this way for years.

$38 million of EU/DFID aid which is not part of the budget has yet to be accounted for. Most of this aid money is spent in the capital and its surroundings with little left for the Eastern regions

The fiscal budget comes from revenues collected such as tax and therefore, is properly monitored and audited. Any corruption of the budget money could only happen through government procurement and mainly in  invoicing. This comes in the form of inflated prices justified by invoicing. Commission and kickbacks occur in this process which makes it difficult for auditors to capture culprits at this stage.
In addition to buying public properties such as  libraries, the theatre and government houses built during the colonial era, the business sector contributes much to the corruption within the government sector .

On the contrary, the Aid money cannot be audited in the current system because the Aid comes to the ministries who manage it and reserve the right not to disclose it to the government auditors or the parliament. This money is therefore,  prone to corruption. It is also not equally distributed among the regions of the country.
Certain regions in the East are left with little Aid money or nothing. Somaliland Ministry of planning shoulders much of the misgivings in the Aid distribution.

I think it is about time for the government to look into the issues of corruption, land grab and mismanagement of public property before the matter goes out of hand .