Finance Ministry to supervise public projects

(Photo: Anteneh Aklilu)

In a change of practice, the Ministry of Finance (MoF) will oversee all public projects.
The government has been criticized the way it has handled projects. Some have been delayed while others have cost a lot of money. For example, one fertilizer factory, and several sugar factories have consumed billions of birr but have not even been finished.
“Project handling is one of the government’s major weaknesses, so we are trying to improve this and control it properly,” Eyob Tekalegn, the State Minister for the Ministry of Finance said. “The trend has changed. Before any new project starts a feasibility study will be undertaken in detail and before the project comes to MoF for approval the Planning Commission should evaluate it in detail,” Eyob said.
He added that the government has also applied a Public Investment Management (PIM) protocol allowing the Planned Commission to evaluate any plans regardless if it fulfills the investment criteria or not.
The Civil Service Commission has approved establishing the department which will follow ongoing projects under MoF.
“Based on the approval of the Civil Service Commission the structure of public project follow up directorate is being established,” he added.
“The directorate formation process has taken time because it has to be approved by the commission but now the problem has been solved,” he explained.
The decision has given power to MoF to follow all projects. Eyob told Capital that his Ministry will follow the projects which previously were followed by relevant government bodies for instance the sugar sector was followed by the Sugar Corporation and the fertilizer industry project was followed by the Chemical Corporation.
He said this allows the government to control all projects directly instead of leaving them to sector actors.