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New rules issued on MPs’ funds

By Vision Reporter

Added 25th March 2008 03:00 AM

MEMBERS of Parliament who have not accounted for the Constituency Development Fund for the 2005-7 financial years will not get more money.

MEMBERS of Parliament who have not accounted for the Constituency Development Fund for the 2005-7 financial years will not get more money.

By Mary Karugaba

MEMBERS of Parliament who have not accounted for the Constituency Development Fund for the 2005-7 financial years will not get more money, the Clerk to Parliament has said.

In a circular, Aeneas Tandekwire warned that the defaulters would not receive the release for the fourth quarter of the financial year 2007/8, which is due in May.

According to him, out of 319 MPs that received the money, only 69 have submitted accountability. In November, 2005, members of the 7th Parliament, representing constituencies and interest groups, were each paid each sh10m.

The Parliamentary Commission prepared and issued the guidelines for utilisation of the funds and MPs were required to file accountability within six months after receiving the cash.

However after close scrutiny, Parliament’s internal auditor discovered that most MPs had submitted accountability, which did not in conform to the guidelines.

“I have cross-examined the accountabilities filed to the commission by members and as a matter of fact, only three members’ accountability is acceptable to me,” Sula Ssebugwawo wrote to the clerk.

In a report to Parliament, the Auditor General recommended that measures be taken to ensure that full accountability is obtained.Quoting from the Treasury Accounting Institutions Act (2003), Tandekwire warned of deductions from the MPs’ salaries.

“Advances not accounted for within 60 days from the date of payment, shall be deducted from the monthly salary of the debtor.”

However, the Rubanda West MP Henry Banyenzaki (NRM) argued that instead of pressurising MPs on accountability, the fund should be scrapped.

“That money is peanuts. It can only buy a set of furniture in my living room. How do you tell me to develop a whole constituency with that little money?”

But Nandala Mafabi (FDC Budadiri West) wondered: “If we MPs cannot account, how can we check other institutions of the Government?”

New rules issued on MPs’ funds

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