Parliament has recommended that accounting officers in four districts and two municipalities be reprimanded for causing financial loss.
This is after the House on Thursday, 03 November 2022 adopted the report of the Committee on Public Accounts (Local Government) on the report of the Auditor General for the financial year 2020/2021.
In Mityana District, Shs500 million meant to recruit teachers was unspent and returned to the treasury.
For Butambala District, Shs1.3 billion was not spent due to failure to attract staff, failure by the ministry to recruit staff and staff on disciplinary cases.
While in Apac district, several contractors were paid without completing their work. They include; Bygon Enterprises Limited, KLR (U) Limited and Delmaw Enterprises Limited who were paid Shs477 million, Shs305 million and, Shs414 million respectively.
“The committee observes that the payment to the contractors was purposely backed by ill motives of defrauding the government. The committee recommends the CIID conducts further investigations into this payment with the view of prosecuting the established culprits,” the report reads in part.
In Buikwe District, the audit report revealed that there were cases of salary payments made using the wrong scales resulting in the overpayment of salary to seven staff totalling Shs6 million and underpayment to 24 staff totalling Shs20 million while Shs4.6m was paid to staff who had retired.
The district also failed to spend Shs1.1 billion meant for payment of tertiary and secondary school teachers, wages for staff under disciplinary action and recruitment for some staff.
“The accounting officer and the human resource officer be held personally liable and reprimanded for failing to update the increments of salaries of staff leading to underpayment,” said Hon. Martin Mapenduzi, the chairperson of the committee.
Additionally, in Nansana Municipality, Shs278 million was unabsorbed due to laxity on the part of the accounting officer in ensuring that the funds were sent back to the Consolidated Fund. The funds were meant for recruitment. There was also an overpayment of Shs12million.
In Makindye Ssabagabo Municipality, Shs421 million was not absorbed due to failure to recruit staff but also to pay pension and gratuity.
In Kira Municipality, Shs9.7 million was paid to nine staff who had retired.
According to the Speaker of Parliament, Anita Among, there are cross-cutting issues in the local governments including mismanagement of payrolls, and mismatch between recruitment plans and the actual recruitment among others.
“It is leading to a total loss of Shs421 million and that money should have gone to the Consolidated Fund,” she said adding that, ‘there is laxity in the payroll management characterized by overpayment of those who have retired and those who have left the service and others who died’.
She called on the government to stop transferring accounting officers who are found culpable of wrongdoing.
Among called for the termination of their service.
Nakeseke Central MP, Hon. Allan Mayanja said that the accounting officers need to be dismissed and prosecuted.
He called for the ministry to create an automated retirement system to curb the payment of persons who have retired.