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Mukono fails to recover sh200m paid out in advances

By Vision Reporter

Added 7th November 2007 03:00 AM

MUKONO

THE district has failed to recover sh211m paid out in advances to civil servants.

MUKONO

THE district has failed to recover sh211m paid out in advances to civil servants.

MUKONO

By Joel Ogwang

THE district has failed to recover sh211m paid out in advances to civil servants.

According to the Auditor General (AG)’s report for the 2003/04 fiscal year, sh165.7m, sh40.9m and sh3.5m remained outstanding in personal, administrative and imprest advances, respectively.

Most personal advances and the entire administrative advances remained dormant and control over granting as well as management of advances remained inadequate since the previous year (2002/03.

Other irregularities
“Deposits totalling sh61.5m brought forward from the previous year remained uncleared during the year under review,” the report says in part.

Sh25.7b was transferred from the general fund account to operational accounts of the district without the AG’s authority. This, in essence, contravened Section 83(2) of the Local Government Act 1997. Sh85.5m paid to district officials to carry out various activities was not accounted for.

A sum of sh10.3m was also diverted from the Local Government Development Programme (LGDP) account to fund other activities of the district without explanation.

Sh10.5m was recorded as having been spent on fuel for the district chairman’s vehicle in seven months. This expenditure, however, lacks fuel consumption statements and accountabilities, rendering the transactions doubtful.

Sh27.9m was not transferred from the central grant collection account to the sub-county general fund account as is required under Plan for Modernisation of Agriculture (PMA) guidelines.

Responses
Some of the irrecoverable advances were written-off. George Gakwandi, the chief administrative officer, says at the time of submission of the final accounts, imprests had not been retired.

A salary earners’ loan scheme has since been introduced. “Staff are encouraged to use this scheme instead of applying for salary advances,” he says.

During the 2004/05 financial year, the district council cleared all outstanding balances for Uganda Revenue Authority (URA).

Deposits totalling sh61.5m were also cleared. “We now remit URA taxes promptly,” Gakwandi says.

PMA funds have also been transferred from the district general fund account to the sub-county general fund account.

On the sh10.5m spent on the chairman’s vehicle, Gakwandi says fuel consumption statements and accountabilities were not accessed by the auditors. He says the council clerk now has the task to ensure that the fuel for the district chairperson is promptly accounted for.

Sh10.3m diverted from the LGDP account, Gakwandi says, had been erroneously paid against the LGDP account. “The money was refunded to the rightful account. No more diversions are made,” he says.

For the sh25.6b transferred from the general fund account without the AG’s authority, Gakwandi says the funds had no audit warrants. The district is not compliant with the Local Government Act.

The Public Accounts Committee’s stance

Patrick Luganda, the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chief, says the district has not done enough to recover money given out in advances. People were allowed to get advances without clearing the outstanding ones, he noted.

“This was irregular,” he says. “We won’t allow people to run away with money. We (PAC) are going to bite.”

Patrick Katende, the senior finance officer, failed to account for sh6.9m he received to monitor Schools Facilitation Grant (SFG) projects.

“We gave him up to December to account for the money,” Luganda says. “We won’t entertain flimsy excuses. Mukono is not a charity.”

Katende told The New Vision that he would account for the money this month. He was instructed that failure to account for the money by December would result in deduction of his salary.

Mukono fails to recover sh200m paid out in advances

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