Parliament needs to urgently look at the recommendations from the AG’s reports since failure to do so is contributing to worsening service delivery caused by some public servants’ continued abuse of tax payer’s money and yet they go unpunished.
By Irene Achola
It is the obligation of the Parliament of Uganda to make sure that recommendations from the Auditor General (AG) Reports are fully discussed and implemented to ensure service delivery efficiency.
Although Uganda’s constitution mandates Parliament to debate and consider reports of the AG and to take appropriate action within six months after submission of the said documents, this is not happening, hence causing laxity among the public servants engaged in theft of public funds.
Parliament needs to urgently look at the recommendations from the AG’s reports since failure to do so is contributing to worsening service delivery caused by some public servants’ continued abuse of tax payer’s money and yet they go un-punished.
According to the study by Anti-Corruption Coalition Uganda (ACCU) the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has not been able to produce any final report on the AG’s annual report since 2008/09. In addition to the backlog of the AG’s annual reports that have not been tabled, value for money audit reports are also still outstanding.
The ACCU research findings also indicated that the Treasury Memorandum that is supposed to contain government’s response to the issues raised by parliament from the AG reports has not been produced since 2004/5 (PEPA, 2012).
This has definitely contributed to the continued complacency among those that miss-use tax payers’ money, since there isn’t any timely administrative process in which strict measures are being undertaken to pin institutions and individuals that have continued to abuse their offices. Among other factors, the backlog of the outstanding reports that have not been discussed is due to poor facilitation of the PAC to adequately deal with the backlog of the un-discussed reports and political influence in parliament
The parliament of Uganda, especially the PAC, needs to create special sittings such that the backlog of un- discussed AG reports can be dealt with. Studies have further recommended that, for reports that have not been discussed in the stipulated timeline of six months, it should be presumed that parliament has fully adopted the AG’s report as presented and the executive arm of government should be in position to prepare the Treasury Memorandum in response to actions to be undertaken to address the issues raised by the AG.
The is the a research officer with the Advocates Coalition for Development and Environment