Assessment Reveals More Government Waste

Proper disposal of waste could generate cash and help the environment.

An assessment initiated by a parliamentary standing committee on public account last year has revealed public offices continue to have deficiencies in disposing items that can lead to health hazards and government waste. The finding, by the Public Procurement & Property Disposal Service, also found these items can have value and contribute to public funds.

Stored at various location, among 172 federal offices, were found close to a quarter million items, such as electronics, medical equipment, 561 vehicles, and 1.2 million kg of scrap metals. It was also discovered that outdated chemicals were stored rather than destroyed. These chemicals were found in 21 different offices and included 361qt of fertilizer and, 1.4 million of animal drugs.

Out of the assessed offices, 137 had accumulated items that were supposed to have been disposed off and were stored in a 5, 572sqm of land, which is an average of 82.5sqm of space per federal office.

The agency is mandated to procure and dispose off items on behalf of federal offices and bring in a healthy income to the state. For instance, last year, out of 44 federal offices, it generated revenue of 193 million Br, from items such as scrap metals, old cars and computers. In the previous year, it made 92 million Br.

Procurement represents an average of 15pc of the country’s GDP.

Despite its success in generating income to the state, last year the General Auditor’s report criticised the agencies as one with no clear date on the amount of disposable items it collected. It attributed the problem on lack of cooperation with a number of government agencies.

Last year, the General Auditor’s Office report reported that around 55 agencies had failed to dispose used items in line with law and directive prescribed for the purpose. Agencies such as PFSA (Pharmacuticals Fund and Supply Agency)  were criticised for not disposing outdated drugs and medical equipments worth of half billion Br.

Public offices are supposed to have a clear data on the amount of property they have, according to the Property Administration Directive/2010. These offices are also have to abide by a law to do a count every year. However, the Auditor’s report still indicates close to 15 offices did not conduct a count, and close to 55 of them have done improper count.

Disposable items accounted for 82.5pc of the assessed offices.

The final report will be submitted to the Ministry of Finance & Economic Cooperation for recommendation, according to Assefa Solomon, communication officer of the service. It will then be presented to the Parliament,

“So far things like chemicals have been disposed of by sending them outside the country,” he told Fortune. “The report is expected to recommend ways that disposal can be carried out domestically”.

The same mechanism is expected to apply to public universities where similar problems with disposal have been reported. A data from the Ethiopian Public Procurement and Property Administration Agency indicates over 60pc of many public origination’s budget goes to procuring public goods and services.



Published on Nov 29,2016 [ Vol 17 ,No 865]



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