MRD suspends senior officer over misuse of public funds
A senior government officer within the Ministry of Rural Development (MRD) has been suspended over allegations of mismanagement of over seventy-thousand ($70,000) in public funds.
The move was part of the current reforms that the ministry is undertaking to strengthen the organization’s governance with the resolute commitment to upholding the highest standards of integrity and accountability.
Permanent Secretary Dr Samson Viulu said restoring the ministry’s integrity and its governance are important and top priorities of the ministry.
He said as public officers, we are morally obliged to follow Public Service Code of Conducts and General Orders, and make sure our acts must be bound within the law, but should one’s act fall outside of it (law), then he or she will face the consequences.
PS Viulu said the ministry submitted a formal request for termination of the officer to the Ministry of Public Service (MPS) and a decision was reached to suspend the officer on half salary. This decisive action followed a thorough internal investigation that lasted over almost three weeks.
He said from investigation, evidences revealed that the officer has committed serious offences which are;
- That the officer used all the imprest money received but spent less number of days out in the field.
- The officer has diverted the funds for own interest.
- Non-retirement of unused funds
- Bribery attempts against PS MRD
- Non-submission of field report
PS Viulu said these allegations are of very serious offences thus, the decision to impose the disciplinary action.
He said the investigation process is continuing, adding his ministry is currently liaising with the Ministry of Public Service (MPS) for further actions against the officer.
“As a public office, we take these allegations seriously as it is a possible violation of the Public Service code of conducts and General Orders.”
He said MRD will not tolerate such practice to thrive in the organization because such misconduct will undermine the ministry’s core values as well as compromise the trust placed on the ministry by the public and its loyal stakeholders and development partners.
Meanwhile, PS Viulu explained that for a just and balanced process, the suspended officer will be given a chance to respond to the allegations before any final disciplinary action is taken.
The Permanent Secretary acknowledged those who came forward with information in relation to the matter and assured the public, stakeholders, development partners, government ministries including MRD staff that the ministry will continue to ensure transparency and fairness throughout the investigation process and guarantee that justice is served.
PS Viulu reminded us that this is just the beginning and staff should take it as a caution while carrying out their duties as we continue to serve our people.
Outcome of the investigation with any further disciplinary actions taken will be made known to the public once the investigation is concluded by MPS.
MRD thanked MPS for the decision and action taken against its officer to build the confidence of the public in the government institutions that we serve.