Budget Overruns in the DRC: Public Spending Observatory Denounces a “Metastasized Cancer”

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In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), a non-governmental organization is sounding the alarm over budgetary governance characterized by a “scandal and historical record of budget overruns.” The Public Spending Observatory (Odep), a civil society organization, has released a report highlighting this issue.

In the DRC, during the execution of the 2022 budget law, 22 ministries and 7 public institutions, including the Court of Auditors, exceeded their budgets to the detriment of other sectors that saw their allocations withheld. “Enough is enough,” states Florimond Muteba, the chairman of Odep’s board of directors, in the report.

A Pervasive Issue Raising Suspicions of Embezzlement and Corruption

“When we look at the evolution of these new practices… In 2021, budget overruns were reported in 12 ministries and institutions, but today, it has grown to 30. It has worsened,” he explains to our correspondent, Pascal Mulegwa. “It’s a metastasized cancer, it has practically affected all sectors, including institutions like Parliament.”

Florimond Muteba elaborates: “The National Assembly is at 145%, the Senate at 184%, the Presidency at 190%, the Ministry of Budget at 335%, and Finance at 182%. This widespread issue raises suspicions of embezzlement and corruption. Budgetary indiscipline and the lack of budget credibility also imply that Parliament is not doing its job. Parliament is the budgetary authority and should oversee budget execution, imposing sanctions when necessary.”

He concludes: “Enough is enough, we are heading for worse. For example, we are calling on the President to organize a national forum on budget fragility. We need to correct this. In reality, these are crimes that have consequences for the overall budget execution.”

Soukaina Sghir

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