Corruption Versus Development [Archives:1999/31/Reportage]

August 2 1999

By: Ismael Al-Ghabiry, 
Yemen Times 

Billions of Rials taken from the citizens do not find its natural way to its right place in the Treasury, instead, it is often captured by some specific individuals. This money, when taken mostly illegally by some official organizations, is not recorded as incomings into the budget. This, in fact, does prove the shortcomings to be found in our economy and does give us an example of the illegal defalcations taking place in many official organizations. Hence, we find it a must to highlight this problem in an attempt to draw the attention of those in charge to it. Numbers included below appeared in a report by the Delegation of the Finical Affairs in the parliament. We are here reporting the same numbers due to their significance. 
According to the Auditing System the following shortcomings are to be found in the Internal System for Auditing: 
– Lack of the basic roles of accountancy. 
– The Yemeni Councils for Development do not make roles to organize their responsibilities, incomings and overhead charges. 
– Accounts for development lack the basic rules of accountancy. There are no accounting units, account books, analysis and auditing records according to the financial and accounting guide. 
– The absence of accounting councils for some of the illegal accounts and fees specially fees related to the development councils. 
– The Government does not make the programs, budgets and the final accounting of the accounts. 
– The Government does not make any plans to control people in charge of these fees and accounts. 
– These accounts and fees are not liable to any kind of auditing. This is mainly due to the lack of auditing sections. 
– The absence of the qualified employees to run the development councils properly. 
In the following lines we will mention some numbers of such illegal fees: 
The amount of money allocated to the cleanness of the Secretarial Capital for 96-97 was YR109,975,684. What was actually spent in the same period was YR213,995,311. Certainly, this money was not spent on what it had been allocated to because we do not see any positive results besides the following reasons: 
– Only 87,588,603 was spent on cleanness work, the rest was spent on other purposes. For example, YR17,853,574 was spent as allowances besides 15% of the whole sum which was given to the revenue officers. 
– Some of the governorates officers take money from that allocated to the cleanness work before recording it in the accounting records. For example, in Hodaidah, YR171,130,000 was taken from the incomings. 
– In Hadhramout, officers responsible for the money allocated to the cleanness work are unknown. These officers take money from the citizens and spend it away from any kind of control. 
– In Hodaidah, YR315,500 was given to the engineer for spare parts without knowing their real price. This in fact goes against article (315) which says that the engineer is to assume the cost of the equipment he is using. 
– 10 pieces of lands were given to the engineer in Hadhramout as part of his dues. 
– In Aden, most of the money wasn’t spent on cleanness work. Actually it was spent as follows: 
– YR19,776,941 (71% of the whole sum) was spent as allowances. 
– 1,700,244 was spent on stationers (6.1% of the whole sum). 
– 25% was spent for transportation, furniture and traveling. 
In Taiz the following violations were made: 
– Baying was not according to the legal legislation. For example the purchases were done without announcing for tenders. 
– Fuel is given illegally for unrelated purposes. 
Thus the money spent on the cleanness work during the period 96-97 in the Secretarial Capital, Aden, Hodaidah, and Taiz reached YR437,090.460,13. 
Cleanness is very important not only for our health but for improving the industry of tourism in our country. In fact cleanness of the cities emerged as a natural phenomenon due to the internal immigration of the countryside people to the cities as well as the great civilization development. The fast shift from one mechanism to another in the field of the cleanness work indicates the shortcomings the cleanness system is undergoing. These shifts were done without pre-planning and each one was worse than the other. The last mechanism applied was the 100% privatization of all the cleanness work . This step was supposed to take place step by step taking into consideration the little experience of the private sector in this regard. 
A lot of finances collected by different official offices all over the country are not used to improve the public services they are collected for. This indicates that this money does not help improve the general public services. Cleanness of the cities has been one of the basic demands of the Yemeni people due to its great importance in our life. In addition to this , cleanness is a sign of civilization and development. Due to the financial crisis our country is facing, the Committee for the Financial Affairs made some field visits to some governments to know more about the fees taken from the citizens illegally. It also asked the Central System for Auditing and Accountancy to provide it with the information available about these fees. After receiving and studying the information, the committee came up with the fact that the continuation of imposing these fees by the governmental offices had encouraged the officials to try to increase their income even in an illegal way and ignore the legal fees which might help lessen the insufficiency in the general budget.