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Punish Export Promotions boss - IGG

By Chris Kiwawulo

Added 21st September 2017 09:47 AM

The Inspectorate called for a review of the appointment of Ayebare as HRO on grounds that she misrepresented her previous work experience.

Punish Export Promotions boss - IGG

Maize ready for export. One of the roles of UEPB is to implement government plans, strategies and actions related to export development and promotion

The Inspectorate called for a review of the appointment of Ayebare as HRO on grounds that she misrepresented her previous work experience.

 

The Uganda Export Promotions Board (UEPB) executive director, Elly Twineyo, acted irregularly and incompetently in a number of situations involving the appointment of staff, a probe report has revealed.

The Inspector General of Government (IGG), Justice Irene Mulyagonja, in her report also noted that the UEPB board of directors abdicated their oversight responsibility regarding staff appointment and illegally delegated their authority to the executive director.

The report, released this week on ‘‘a systemic investigation into recruitments, restructuring and fi lling of positions in the new structure at UEPB'', followed a complaint by concerned staff to the IGG in 2015

The report

According to the report, M/s Consult Info Services, the company which eventually drew up the restructuring report had no obvious or demonstrated competence in the issue of restructuring.

"The executive director had entrusted the process of bid solicitation to an offi ce attendant as opposed to a competent procurement offi cer," the report read.

The IGG observed that Twineyo opted for micro-procurement of consultancy services, contrary to procurement guidelines and without any clearance from the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Authority (PPDA). There was also no signed contract between UEPB and the consultant.

Appointment

irregularities Regarding the appointment of Sandra Ayebare as human resource offi cer (HRO), the IGG said Twineyo failed to detect a signifi cant misrepresentation of her work experience when she indicated that she had worked as HRO at Uganda Management Institute, yet she had only been there as a trainee.

The IGG also noted irregularities in the emoluments that Ayebare was receiving during her period of temporary appointment at UEPB. "In relation to the same process via which Ayebare was appointed, it was found that the executive director had falsely and ultimately adversely excluded one of the candidates for the position of HRO at UEPB."

According to the IGG, Twineyo falsely informed the board that Agnes Tundu Waibi, who had been ranked second best for the HRO job, had an adverse background report at her former workplace in NAADS.

"When this was cross-checked at NAADS, it was found to be false. The executive director further took it upon himself to conduct negotiations with candidates other than those approved by the board," the report read.

Twineyo, the IGG said, also exhibited gross negligence or incompetence in the process of recruiting the HRO when he disqualifi ed one Albert Mwesigwa on grounds of falsely indicating he had worked at the local government fi nance commission.

It was established that due to lack of clarity in Mwesigwa's work experience, Twineyo wrongly assumed that he (Mwesigwa) was at the time of the application still employed at the commission.

The commission subsequently clarifi ed that Mwesigwa had been their employee from 2011 up to 2014. For reasons best known to himself, the IGG observed, Twineyo reported that Mwesigwa had lied about being employed at the commission and caused his disqualifi cation for the position of HRO at UEPB.

The IGG noted that Twineyo had Moses Mabala removed from the post of senior export marketing executive (capacity building) on grossly irregular grounds that he had absconded from duty.

However, investigations found that Mabala had in fact responded to the allegations, but had never been informed of the outcome and that Twineyo based on that ground to disqualify him (Mabala) without his knowledge, contrary to Article 42 of the Constitution.

The probe report found that whereas the recruitment of the current executive director was not fundamentally flawed as alleged by the petitioners, there were some minor ambiguities in the academic specifi cations, which could have caused varying interpretations of who was actually qualifi ed for the job.

"This led to some inconsistencies in the short-listing process as there did not seem to be a uniform understanding of the academic criteria. It was also noted though that prior to being substantively appointed, Twineyo was appraised solely by Mrs. Maria Odido, the then board chairperson, instead of the board, which was in contravention of the UEPB Act," the report stated.

It further noted that there did not seem to be properly agreed upon appraisal parameters in place for the executive director and this left room for doubt as to whether he was being effectively appraised.

IGG recommendations

The IGG asked the board to request Twineyo to show cause why he should not be sanctioned for providing misleading and detrimental information to the board about the employment backgrounds of Tundu and Mwesigwa in a manner which ultimately led to Ayebare's appointment.

Mulyagonja also asked the board to request Twineyo to show cause why he should not be sanctioned for irregularly assuming the role of the accounting officer in the procurement of a consultant for the restructuring exercise and failure to ensure that UEPB signed a contract with M/s Consult Info Services in accordance with the provisions of the PPDA (contracts) Regulations.

The IGG recommended that the board should require Ayebare to show cause why disciplinary action should not be taken against her for dishonesty when she received and kept sh1.9m between August 2013 and March 2014 in social security contributions by UEPB to NSSF and gratuities.

The inspectorate also called for a review of the appointment of Ayebare as HRO on grounds that she misrepresented her previous work experience.

The IGG also advised the board to get technical assistance from the specialised Ministry of Public Service to assist it to prepare person specifi cations for all jobs at UEPB to avoid ambiguities as found by the investigation.

"Design templates to be used for outputs, performance indicators and performance targets attached to all jobs at UEPB and to be used as tools for annual performance measurement for the holders of those jobs; and, in designing templates for annual performance plans to be fi lled and signed by all employees for their respective jobs, inclusive of those on probation," the IGG stated.

In future, the IGG asked the board to ensure that all UEPB staff, inclusive of those on probation, sign performance plans that detail the specifi c outputs, performance indicators and performance targets to make appraisals more focused and meaningful.

She also advised that staff appointed on probation at UEPB be given exclusive probationary contracts in strict compliance with the provisions of the Employment Act and that the executive director be appraised by the board, but not singly by any member of the board.

In such an endeavour, the board's committee concerned with human resources should also carry out the actual appraisal and submit an appraisal report for discussion and consideration by the entire board.

The IGG also tasked the board with ensuring that in future all drivers at UEPB have valid driving permits, undertake periodic re-testing every three years and undergo the annual eye testing.

The inspectorate also called for verifi cation of academic documents of all applicants, with awarding Institutions as part of due diligence to avoid appointing persons with questionable documents in future.

The board was also asked to carry out a verification exercise on academic documents for all existing UEPB staff and take appropriate action on staff found to have false academic documents.

In the interest of fairness, the IGG asked the board to review the matter of Mabala and one Onguzu with the view of considering their absorption in the new UEPB structure to any other position as recommended in the interview report like other persons were treated.

 

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