By Francis Emorut
CIVIL society groups have rapped Government over persistent delays of releasing quarterly funds to different sectors.
While presenting "CSOs Budget Performance Monitoring Report 2014/2015" to the Government they said the practice erodes government's strategy of effective and efficient service delivery.
The civil society advocates was led by the coordinator Civil Society Budget Advocacy Group Julius Mukunda who handed the report to the permanent secretary ministry of finance and secretary to the treasury, Keith Muhakanizi.
He highlighted the health sector specifically which didn't receive timely release of funds in the financial year 2014/2015.
The coordinator pointed out that 73.7% of the approved quarterly FY2014.2015 budget for the health centres visited was not received by the time of monitoring.
"Out of the 34 health centres visited with approved quarterly budgets, 28 had not received the quarterly funds by the time of monitoring," Mukunda told Government officials.
This was during the media briefing on quarterly releases of Government funds to different sectors.
The meeting took place at the ministry of finance headquarters in Kampala on Wednesday.
Mukunda informed the officials of Ministry Finance, Planning and Economic Development that the civil society group visited 10 districts during the monitoring period.
He explained that all the Health Centres IIs in Soroti district that his team visited didn't receive quarterly FY2014/2015 funds by the time of monitoring.
The health centres visited in Soroti include Ankot HCII, Katine HCII and Lale HCII which have monthly patients numbering to 1,284.
He told Government officials that this late releases of funds impacts negatively on service delivery.
"The impact of not sending funds in time to these Health Centres in the community is grave as this negatively affects the quality of services at this provided at HCIIs," he said.
He appealed to the Government to tackle the issue immediately so as not to be repeated in this financial year.
"The late receipt of funds by HCs hampers quality service delivery and this has to be resolved as soon as possible if the budget strategy for the FY2015/2016 is anything to go by," Mukunda said.
Muhakanizi vowed to stick to the budget that Parliament will approve this fiscal year.
"We have no intention to spend above the approved budget," he said.
In his response to issues raised by the civil society actors, Muhakanizi commended the activists for being specific this time unlike in the previous interactions with government officials.
"I thank you for being specific this time rather than generalization you have been talking about," Muhakanizi stated.
The secretary told the audience that there was progressive improvement in service delivery due to timely release of funds.
He said the total approved budget for the FY2014/15 was sh15.8 trillion.
The secretary to the treasury pointed out that his ministry released sh2.2 trillion as fourth quarter release for the FY2014/2015.
In attendance were the members of civil society group, government officials' director of budget Kenneth Mugambe, Accountant General Lawrence Semakula, Commissioners Steven Enabu and Robert Okudi.
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Govt rapped over delayed release of funds