By John Odyek
The Auditor General, John Muwanga, has observed that the lives of Ugandans can be improved if the Government cuts wastage of public resources and maximises the use of the available funds.
He explained that if funds are released for hospitals, boreholes and they are not built then people suffer. “If people become accountable, resources are accounted for and the quality of service delivery is improved. Accountability is key in improving lives.”
Muwanga said this at the closing ceremony of the joint accountability Eastern Africa Association of Public Accounts Committees and Southern Africa Development Community Organisation of Public Accounts Committees. The function was hosted by the Auditor General at the Ndere Centre in Kisaasi.
“The work of supreme audit institutions cannot provide the required value addition unless the Public Accounts Committees equally exercise their roles. It is only when we work together that we can make a difference in the lives of our citizens and guarantee a safe future for the next generation,” Muwanga said.
The conference resolved that Public Accounts Committees (PACs) should strengthen partnerships with stakeholders such as the media, civil society, law enforcement agencies, civil society and supreme audit institutions to enhance accountability and transparency in the use of public funds.
The Public Finance Bill 2012 seeks to reduce the time the Auditor General makes his report to Parliament. The time has been reduced from nine months to six months to ensure action is taken on it.
The Bill also seeks to create an Auditor General of internal audit to improve the functions of internal audit in government and the country.
Chris Kassami, the outgoing permanent secretary ministry of finance said reducing the time the Auditor General reports to Parliament from nine months to six months was a best practice globally. Kassami said the Auditor General was provided with additional resources to enable them report within the required time.