Financial institution leaders, particularly those from the World Bank, and the International Monetary Funds, have sharply denounced Madagascar’s bureaucratic inefficiencies.
Mr. Hafez Ghanem, the World Bank’s local Operations Director angrily stated, “I have never understood why the Agency in charge of monitoring committed funds should take nearly four months to review a document when, in my opinion, it should take no more than fifteen minutes.”
That is how, on October 9, 2002, during the opening session of the Portfolio Review of the projects financed by the World Bank, one representative of our primary partners assessed the current situation with regards to the current productivity.
In any event, the projects and the programs are not the only things to suffer from the negative impact of bureaucratic inefficiency. When it comes to requesting payment for services rendered, or for a project startup, ordinary users, the public, and those who have dealings with the Finance and Budget Agency, and other departments, are the first ones to silently endure this bureaucratic inefficiency.
The Public Utilities agent, who wishes to remain anonymous, waits several months, even years, before receiving advances which he has every right to obtain.
The one who has every right to be served, or who demands to be reimbursed must patiently wait for several months.
Even the government has to wait at least three months, after the Financing Law went into effect, before receiving its budget allotment.
Meanwhile, what do they do?
The work slows down to a virtual crawl, at the expense of the taxpayers, and the users who must bring vellum and India paper, in addition to the “appreciation” envelope, or a “snack” for the public servants with whom they must deal.
In many respects, the many accusations alleging the possible involvement of a group of money-grabbing financiers feeding at the public finance’s trough would not be ill-founded.
Meanwhile, there are special vouchers, and special vouchers by adjudication which are paid handsomely by the public treasury.
One wonders whether or not Mr. Andriamparany Radavidson, minister in charge of Finance, Budget and the Economy, can, as he wishes, effect meaningful changes in work methodology.
In response to the World Bank president’s latest statements which call for less talk and more action, the minister declared that the government is more than ever poised to implement the necessary corrections so that the impacts of decisions could be quickly perceived.
The challenge, as Mr. Hafez Ghanem pointed out, is to immediately double the utilization rate of bottle-necked lines of credits which amount to some $500 million, as well as improve the rate at which projects are executed so that we can achieve our objective of a speedy recovery, and development.
Translated by J. F. Razanamiadana