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Cost of CHOGM rises to sh370b

By Vision Reporter

Added 25th October 2009 03:00 AM

The total cost of the Commonwealth heads of government meeting, held in November 2007, has risen to at least sh370b, according to figures obtained from the Auditor General’s office.

The total cost of the Commonwealth heads of government meeting, held in November 2007, has risen to at least sh370b, according to figures obtained from the Auditor General’s office.

By Vision Reporters

The total cost of the Commonwealth heads of government meeting, held in November 2007, has risen to at least sh370b, according to figures obtained from the Auditor General’s office.

An amount of sh267b had been spent by April 2008, when the Auditor General issued his first report on the CHOGM expenses.

This did not include the airport works, for which a sh70b loan was obtained from Stanbic Bank.

It also did not include payments made after April 2008. Works on roads and hotels continued long after the summit ended, and contractors continue to claim outstanding payments up to today.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported outstanding bills of sh3.7b at the time of the audit, while the works ministry presented an additional bill of sh33b for CHOGM roads in the financial year 2008/2009.

Several other ministries have not submitted their outstanding bills to the Auditor General despite requests to do so. This means that the actual cost of CHOGM will certainly be higher.

Nobody knows how much the Commonwealth summit will end up costing the Ugandan taxpayers when the project is finally closed.

“I advised the accounting officer of a need to set up a programme for the closure of the activities, including a cut-off date,” said the Auditor General’s report of April 2008.

“The accounting officer promised to meet the national task force to agree on a date of closure.”
According to information obtained by The New Vision, June 2008 was agreed upon as a date of closure. But some ministries have continued spending money on CHOGM related activities even after that date.

“There is need to ascertain the total arrears position relating to CHOGM and plan for its settlement.

These unplanned obligations are going to affect the recurrent budgets of those ministries (in the years ahead),” said the report.

In a series of articles ahead of the parliamentary probe which starts on Wednesday, the New Vision establishes how the CHOGM money was spent, whether procurement procedures were followed and if the Government got value for money.

Cost of CHOGM rises to sh370b

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