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Auditor General hits at gov't over failure to act on its reports

By Francis Emorut

Added 19th March 2018 04:43 PM

Katerega said the outstanding amount in court awards and compensations had been accumulating over the last five years from sh54b in 2011/2012 to sh676.82b in 2016/17.

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Katerega said the outstanding amount in court awards and compensations had been accumulating over the last five years from sh54b in 2011/2012 to sh676.82b in 2016/17.

PIC: Francis Kateregga, the assistant Auditor General corporate service addressing participants during interface with civil society in Kampala. (Credit: Francis Emorut)

PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION | ACCOUNTABILITY


KAMPALA - The Office of the Auditor General (OAG) has lashed out at the Government for not implementing recommendations in it reports.

“Over 100 reports have been produced and only a handful has been discussed. Interest (court and compensation wards) is growing, yet discussion of reports is not taken seriously. Auditor General Reports discussed are not tabled,” Stephen Kateregga, the director value for money directorate OAG said.

Katerega said the outstanding amount in court awards and compensations had been accumulating over the last five years from sh54b in 2011/2012 to sh676.82b in 2016/17.

He informed participants that because of the unpaid court awards, interest amounting to sh168b had accumulated.

“In certain cases, the interest had more than doubled the principle amounts,” he pointed out.

Kateregga made remarks during the interface with MPs and civil society organisations in Kampala.

The director appealed to civil society to pick interest in the matter and mount pressure on Parliament to act on reports produced year in, year out.

“Your interest in this area is welcome to disseminate information and mount pressure on Parliament, where reports are discussed,” Katerega said.

He urged the civil society to sensitise the public on the importance of audit reports so that they are able to demand for accountability.

Katerega, who was presenting the Auditor General’s annual report 2017, also raised concern on inadequate supervision of Karuma and Isimba hydro-power projects, saying a number of anomalies, including shortfalls in the quality assurance and quality control procedures.

He cited poor quality of concrete lining, causing cracks in some sections of the dam.

“Under the Isimba hydro-power project (HPP), progress reports revealed inadequate supervision of engineering procurement and construction contractor, which resulted in poor concrete quality site, cracking, cold joints honeycombing and failed concrete repairs.”

These are indications of lack of capacity and inadequate experienced personnel by the owner’s engineer to resolve site problems,” Kateregga told MPs and members of civil society.

He pointed out that the above anomalies may lead to high maintenance costs for the projects.

On his part, the executive director of Civil Society Budget Advocacy Group, Julius Mukunda, informed the officials from OAG that the civil society was equally concerned why the OAG reports were not being acted upon in time to influence the budget decisions and the complete accountability cycle.

“We are going to put MPs on spot why they are not discussing auditor reports and bring the culprits to book,” Mukunda said.

He pledged that civil society was going to popularise the Auditor General’s concern by creating awareness among the citizens so that they can hold the MPs and the Government accountable.

Rujumbura MP Fred Tumuheirwe Turyamuhweza wondered why the Auditor General continues to audit the same issues year in and, year out without any culprit being brought to book.

 

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