MPS on the social services committee yesterday questioned the secretary to the judicial commission set up to probe the misuse of UPE and USE funds over the abnormal emoluments they had awarded themselves.
The figures in honourarium, sitting and travel allowances among other expenditures that are yet to be approved by the President were presented by the secretary, Keturah Katunguka.
The commission chairperson, who is to be a judge, will earn sh6.5m besides his official salary. His deputy is to get sh6.4m and four commissioners are to receive sh6.3m per month for the six months besides sitting and travel allowances. Drivers will be paid sh800,000, while typists and secretaries are to get sh600,000.
The MPs also queried sh48m budgeted for buying mobile phones for the officials, sh60m for media and publicity and sh8m per month for telephone expenses.
Alice Alaso (FDC) wondered why the committee could not use the BlackBerry phones that were recently returned by government officials from CHOGM activities and other accessories.
The MPs wondered what criteria had been used in arriving at the figures, which according to shadow sector minister Alaso were â€œout of the normâ€.
Katunguka explained that while there were standing instructions for the sitting and travel allowances, they based their calculation on previous judicial probes for the honourarium and the expertise of the commissioners.
The MPs also wondered why new vehicles had to be bought for a six-month probe instead of hiring.
Katunguka said the cost of hiring was sh700m yet purchasing new cars was sh521m.
The MPs were scrutinising the education supplementary request presented by minister Namirembe Bitamazire, who went along with Katunguka.
Out of a request of sh5.58b, the probe will account for sh4.38b, The rest will go to support Mountains of the Moon University (sh500m) and kick-start West Nile University (sh700m).
Katunguka said the probe was behind schedule, having been gazetted to start on December 11 last year.
She said they were mandated to follow the flow of funds from the centre to schools, conduct a head-count of teachers and students, audit structures that had been constructed and teaching materials bought.
Katunguka added that they would have to rent office space, pay researchers, engineers and auditors.
Committee chairman Chris Baryomunsi (NRM) wondered how the team would be independent of the ministry when they were receiving money through it.
Katunguka said they had opened a different account to which the money would be wired.
A total of 15,000 schools are to be sampled in the probe, for which they have already received sh2.2b.
Sh4b required for education probe