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Archive for the category “Budget”

UK Statistics Authority Chairman Sir David Norgrove letter to Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson: “On his clear misuse of statistics” (17.09.2017)

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Burundi: OLUCOME Communique – “Le Gouvernement Burundais en Place devralt cesser de pendre des mesures qui bafouent certains textes legaux et principaux qui guident les Finances publiques” (11.09.2017)

Kenya: The County Government of Nandi has made the following changes (28.08.2017)

Opinion: Trump has bankrupted the Secret Service because of his golfing and nepotism!

We know that President Donald J. Trump has taken nearly one-third of the term into vacations, weekend trips to Florida and other days outside the White House. When the President travels, this is costly and extra hours for the Secret Service. The Secret Service is obligated to be the security guards and have convoys securing the President and his family. With the Trump presidency, it has also been extra lounges at the Trump Tower, as the First Lady stayed there for months before leaving for D.C. Therefore, the expenses has grown with the extra traveling days, but also the rallies and all other activity the President has been up-to. Just take a look!

Secret Service Director Randolph “Tex” Alles, in an interview with USA TODAY, said more than 1,000 agents have already hit the federally mandated caps for salary and overtime allowances that were meant to last the entire year” (…) “ Alles said the service is grappling with an unprecedented number of White House protectees. Under Trump, 42 people have protection, a number that includes 18 members of his family. That’s up from 31 during the Obama administration. Overwork and constant travel have also been driving a recent exodus from the Secret Service ranks, yet without congressional intervention to provide additional funding, Alles will not even be able to pay agents for the work they have already done. The compensation crunch is so serious that the director has begun discussions with key lawmakers to raise the combined salary and overtime cap for agents, from $160,000 per year to $187,000 for at least the duration of Trump’s first term” (Johnson, 2017).

So the Secret Service already are overworked as they have taken hours and trips with the President. That a 1000 agents already are over the mandated caps for salary and overtime. Shows how much the President are traveling and extra work that the agents has gotten by the actions of the President and his family. That the numbers has gone up from Obama, is also typical, since the family of the Trump needs security in New York and nepotism is rampant in the White House. This sends worrying signals of how little the Trump Administration and New York Gang cares about the budget, as long as they are living their lives.

That this arrogance and double moral is clear in this, as he claimed Obama traveled to much and was such a burden on the budgets as a President. It only tool 7 months before he cracked the budgets of the Secret Service, this from a government that plans to deplete many government subsidized programs to the poor, while expanding the army. The US government under Trump isn’t fiscal responsible or caring about the outcome. Since he in just such short time has spent enormous amounts of funds taking vacations and playing golf on his own estates. That has also added extra expenses to the Police Force and States, which he has visited. It isn’t only the Secret Service who has had to spend fortunes on Trump, but the state of Florida and New Jersey has had to get added funding for their ordinary work.

This proves the mockery of it all, as such a rich man likes this is living lavish on the state and also using the security operations in a way that it even breaking the bank and accounts for the Secret Service. The Secret Service are in August, but has not funds to pay for the extra services needed for the President until December. That is 4 months left of the year and already overspent. This is something the White House and the Capital Hill has to discuss, so that the state can continue to flood the extended fleet and need of agents around the President. The state cannot afford to go broke and not pay the security guards. Then, the state would see deserters without pay or resignations, as who wants to be working for a state; a state who doesn’t pay the salaries and the overtime. Peace.

Reference:

Johnson, Kevin – ‘Exclusive: Secret Service depletes funds to pay agents because of Trump’s frequent travel, large family’ (21.08.2017) link: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2017/08/21/secret-service-cant-pay-agents-because-trumps-frequent-travel-large-family/529075001/

Opinion: President Museveni wants cronyism on steroids!

We know that the loyalty based between former Members of Parliament, former NRM historical’s is not based on merit or on ideology anymore. It is on the possible paycheck and envelopes given by the state and the favors it gets the President. Everything else is and should be seen as a lie. Therefore, when the Observer quotes a letter from 1st August 2017 sent to his loyal cronies, saying they have to make sure the other loyal cronies get more perks. It fits the paradigm of his growing entitlement and his regime. The President do know the only way of keeping them within reach and loyal to him, is to pay them. That is the only way he can sway them and make sure they got his back. This is the reason for the sudden; we need to give MP allowances and benefits to the ones ousted and who has left office in disgrace. They need a new form of payday, since I still need their loyalty. Just look!

“In an August 1 letter, President Museveni directs the minister of Public Service, Muruli Mukasa, to give the former ministers who were appointed ambassadors the same remuneration they used to get while they still served in cabinet. “As you are aware, I have appointed some former ministers as ambassadors. I, therefore, direct, if it is not against any law, their remuneration, personal to holder, like when they were ministers, minus of course elements like constituency allowance because they no longer have constituencies,” Museveni’s letter reads. The letter is copied to Vice President Edward Ssekandi, Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda, Foreign Affairs Minister Sam Kutesa, head of Public Service and secretary to cabinet John Mitala and the permanent secretary of the ministry of Foreign Affairs, Patrick Mugoya. Museveni’s letter suggests that the former ministers could alternatively be paid an equivalent of the monthly pay of Shs 15m for permanent secretaries, although this could come with additional benefits. “Sort it out in a rational manner on the basis of maintaining some of the benefits the individuals were getting previously minus the elements that are no longer applicable,” Museveni further wrote” (Kaaya, 2017).

It is amazing that former Cabinet Members will get perks when they have left office, that can only be keeps his cronies at bay. Not because it is benefits the state or is fiscal responsible. Since the Ministers and Members of Parliament get very high salaries and their reunification, that the ordinary worker in Kampala could “die” for.

Certainly, the President knows this and wants to make sure the former loyal cronies get their paycheck, which they will smile and grin. That they will continue to support him and speak well of him. If that weren’t the case, then this wouldn’t be necessary for him to propose. This isn’t for the love of the country and to take someone. These are the former well-paid politicians and loyalists, who are now sure they get another payday, without any work or office! It should be insulting, but is more of the same, seriously, since many former cabinet members becomes ambassadors, presidential advisors or any sort of title to pay for their loyalty. Not for their advice or political savviness. We all know better.

This certainly will bill up more funds and put more strains on the debt-ridden economy. But why doesn’t President Museveni, he will be dead when the interests and the debt has to be repaid to the creditors. Peace.

Reference:

Kaaya, Sadab Kitatta – ‘Museveni wants ex-ministers to draw cabinet-level pay as envoys’ (18.08.2017) link: http://observer.ug/news/headlines/54467-museveni-wants-ex-ministers-to-draw-cabinet-level-pay-as-envoys.html

This is what the Constitutional Amendment Bill of 2017 do: It makes it easier for the State to grab land!

The Constitutional Amendment Bill has been criticized and created worry, since the National Resistance Movement (NRM) have worked for and to get their leader to stay in charge and executive as long as he pleases. That is the President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni. So the article 102 (b) could easily been seen as possible change to fit the life and the age of the aging President. Instead, the gazetted bill of retired Major General Kahinda Otafiire is about making it easier for the state to compensate and take land from civilians. Since they want to make more cheap and make it legal to take land. If so make it easier to settle in court. This is clearly making the road development and pipeline building cheaper, also giving the government more power. Just by looking at the text from the government. Take a look!

The purpose of the Bill is to resolve the current problem of delayed implementation of Government infrastructure and investment projects due to disputes arising out of the compulsory land acquisition process. The problem of delayed Government projects has caused significant financial loss to the Government amounting to millions of dollars in penalties paid to road contractors for redundant machinery at construction or project sites as the courts attempt to resolve the disputes, most of which relate to quantum of compensation” (Otafiire, 2017).

Original Article 26:

26. Protection from deprivation of property.

(1) Every person has a right to own property either individually or in association with others.

(2) No person shall be compulsorily deprived of property or any interest in or right over property of any description except where the following conditions are satisfied—

(a) the taking of possession or acquisition is necessary for public use or in the interest of defence, public safety, public order, public morality or public health; and

(b) the compulsory taking of possession or acquisition of property is made under a law which makes provision for—

(i) prompt payment of fair and adequate compensation, prior to the taking of possession or acquisition of the property; and

(ii) a right of access to a court of law by any person who has an interest or right over the property” (Constitution of 8th October 1995)

Amendment of Article 26:

(3) Where the owner of property or any person having any interest in or right over property objects to the compensation awarded under a law made under clause (2Xb), the Government or local government shall deposit with court for the property owner or any person having any interest in or right over the property, the compensation awarded for the property, and the Government or local government shall take possession of the property pending determination by the court of any dispute relating to the compensation” (Otafiire, 2017).

(4) The owner of property or person having any interest in or right over the property shall have a right to access the compensation deposited with the court referred to in clause (3),at any time during the determination of the dispute” (Otafiire, 2017).

(5) Parliament shall, by law, prescribe the time within which any dispute referred to in clause (3) shall be determined” (Otafiire, 2017).

So now the part of the article 2 (b) was already giving the citizens and land owners set of rights, but not telling how the procedure for compensation for possible value of the land and neither loss of possible costs of moving. The new part of article 26, is about giving the courts rights to find compensation and awards to fellow citizens property.

What is new is even as the pending award and compensation to the land owner, the government still has right to take possession of the land. Which means the government even if the land owner or the one who has the title of the land has to move before the case is settled in courts. This means that the government can cease the land and later pay the people who lives on the land. So if the state and need to build infrastructure or any other project, they can take possession of the land and pay-off the ones living there later.

The Parliament can put a time-table for the possible ending of land dispute, but the possession is already cleared by the state. Therefore, the loss of possession and pending time depends. The real issue isn’t only the dispute, but no consideration of the loss of title, livelihood or even the possible all other costs like moving to another property or housing. This should have been taken in consideration when writing new standards. This one only gives positives to the state, but the citizens and owners of land titles get the hurt.

It is easy to see the Republic/State are the ones winning with the change of article 26 in the constitution not the citizens. The changes of the law is only to benefit the state and the ones acting by orders of the state, not for the citizens. This should be itself worrying as there are no part that is positive for the citizens in the amendment. The land can be possessed and has to wait for the time-table put forward by the Parliament and within that time while the dispute happening hopefully get compensated. Clearly, this is only giving more powers to the state, while taking away the total ownership of land. Since the state can possibly take possession and pay the title-owner later. Peace.

Reference:

Otafiire, Kahinda – ‘Constitutional Amendment Bill of 2017’ – 08.06.2017 – Uganda Gazette No. 33, Volume CX, Bill Supplement No. 7

RDC: IMF letter on possible FCR support (29.06.2017)

NRM Regime sends the message when they cannot afford elections in the new districts: That they are not important!

There are clear reports that the Electoral Commission doesn’t have the funds for elections in the new districts, which is: “The districts that came into effect on July 1 are Bunyangabu carved out of Kabarole, Namisindwa carved out of Manafwa, Pakwach from Nebbi, Butebo from Pallisa, Rukiga from Kabale and Kyotera from Rakai” (Mwesigwa, 2017). So from these newly created districts does have new Members of Parliament, but does not have local leadership.

This proves the real value of the newly created districts, as the National Resistance Movement pays it no mind and only create it out of political will. Not creating districts for better governance or service delivery. The NRM and the President have been gerrymandering and paying off his people with making new districts. Why I say the NRM and the government doesn’t prioritize real local leadership, since the Electoral Commission had on the 27th June 2017 in a Press Release said this:

The Electoral Commission has appointed Monday 3rd July 2017, as the date for election of Interim District Chairperson in each of the newly created districts of Bunyangabu, Butebo, Kyotera, Namisindwa, Pakwach and Rukiga” (Electoral Commisson, 27.06.2017). Still, that date has been postponed because of lacking funds. Therefore, the interim leadership in the new districts get to stay in power without polls.

It was apparently very easy to create districts and than find suitable people to run them. And done so without any scrutiny, since it is done times ahead before the General Election in 2016. This was done with several districts and made into new government organization. Something the NRM regime has done through the decades.

It is more evident now that the NRM doesn’t consider the chairpersons in the new districts. That the LCV chairmen got elected in in 112 districts. But with the new districts its become 118 districts. Since in the 9th Parliament by August 2015, this was totally 23 new districts, not only the ones active from 1st July 2017. Which now the state cannot afford to have local leadership election. Like the report in August 2015: “Last week, Local Government Minister Adolf Mwesige, presented an amended motion seeking to create 23 new districts spread across four financial years. According to the motion, districts to be created effective July 1, 2016 include Kagadi, Kakumiro, Omoro and Rubanda. Those to come into effect by July 1, 2017 include Namisindwa, Pakwach, Butebo, Rukiga, Kyotera and Bunyangabu. On the other hand Nabilatuk, Bugweri, Kasanda, Kwania, Kapelebyong and Kikuube districts will become effective July 1, 2018 while Obongi, Kazo, Rwampara, Kitagwenda, Madi Okollo, Kalenga and Kalaki come into effect from July 1, 2019” (The Observer, 2015). Because the State has been able to hold elections in the ones that came into affect in July 1st 2016. These we’re by-election that has gone in favor of the NRM. These being in Kagadi, Kakumiro, Omoro and Rubanda. So it is now the 6 districts who the state cannot afford to have elections for. Which means that the Republic cannot afford having local government officials.

So the state has carved out new districts, but cannot afford them. It is special that during the next two years there will be 13 more districts. There is already launched 10 districts and only 4 districts has elected leadership through ballots. These are Kagadi, Kakumiro, Omoro and Rubanda. The rest are without leadership. The 13 districts that is coming, you can wonder if the state can afford them as well? Even if it will be another fiscal year, but there still need extended efforts because the state has established and created districts, that needs offices and councils. These all needs provisions and budgetary discipline to make it happen.

Clearly, the service delivery and the need for the new districts isn’t there, it is all political motivated to pay off loyal NRM cronies and give them titles. That they can hire Resident District Commanders and others who will work directly for the President and the State House. The Electoral Commission has just to issue an election and get the secret ballots. That is the easy thing, but to build the new district and the government organization. The NRM knows this, but the initial factor is if they cannot hold elections there, can they pay for the structure?

It doesn’t seem likely that the districts are made for the best of the community or the government services. More for cronies loyal to the President. Peace.

Reference:

Mwesigwa, Alon – ‘Crisis: No money to run new districts, conduct elections’ (07.07.2017) link: http://observer.ug/news/headlines/53724-crisis-no-money-to-run-new-districts-conduct-elections.html

The Observer – ‘Uganda: Museveni Directs Parliament to Convene Over New Districts’ (25.08.2015) link: http://allafrica.com/stories/201508260319.html

New Jersey Governor Christie Sanctions a ‘State of Emergency’ over a State Budget standoff!

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, the Donald Trump lackie has clearly had an all-powerful vision as the budget for 2018 hasn’t been able to negotiate. Therefore, he signed the Executive Order No. 228, this one he sealed on the 30th June 2017. Just before the Independence day weekend. So the Jersey Shore will be sealed of the people going on vacations, the ones wants to chill in New Jersey, has to hit the casino’s and not the beaches. Clearly, not a populist strategy by the Republican governor.

Because the state representatives couldn’t constructively make a budget with his fellow people in the State Assembly. Clearly, the Governor must have an agenda, since he pulls the State Constitution and uses his powers to pull a ‘State of Emergency’. So the state functions stops, because of the powers he has as a governor. Certainly, he needs to show power and his strength towards the State Assembly.

What is striking from any perspective is these passages:

I invoke the emergency powers conferred upon me by N.J.S.A. App. A:9-33 et seq., and all amendments and supplements thereto, and such other powers as may be conferred upon me by the Constitution and the Statutes of the State of New Jersey” (Executive Order No. 228). “Until such time as there is enacted a General Appropriations Law for Fiscal Year 2018, I reserve the right to take such actions and issue such orders or directives as may be necessary to meet the various problems presented by this emergency, to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the people of this State, and to ensure the continued provision of essential State services. The exercise of these emergency powers shall, when required, be subject to future payment of the reasonable value of goods and services, subject to appropriation, and as provided by law” (Executive Order No. 228).

All employees whose services are not deemed essential pursuant to this Order shall be deemed furloughed pursuant to N.J.S.A. 11A:6-1.1 and shall be governed by the rules implementing that program, except as may be prohibited by law. The provisions of this paragraph shall apply to any such employees who are necessary to implement the orderly shut down of programs and functions as provided in paragraph 16 of this Order upon the completion of such shut down, as determined and documented by the head of the department or agency” (Executive Order No. 228).

So within the bounds of the State now, the core essentials will be working, the needed services and state officers will be there, but the rest will be suspended. Therefore, the famous lackie Christie decided to stop the funding and allocations to the different state functions. Because he wants the State to be on its knees, so the will of the governor can be counted in the budget of 2018. This proves his will for power. He will use Emergency Powers to settle the score of the budget negotiations. So he will keep the state functions hostage over debate and needed State voting in the State Assembly for budget. This isn’t for time of war, this isn’t for time of terrorist crisis. The Governor does this over Budget voting and Budget allocations for the next Financial Year. So they are making sure there a fiscal sound budget and good balance accordingly to the State needs.

Chris Christie has really taken the powers in his hands and he should also fix it with the representatives within the State Assembly, the State of Emergency over budget negotiations and voting of budget post is bewildering. Does seem like he feels his voice isn’t respected or his standing isn’t graceful enough. Clearly, the New Jersey National Assembly needs to talk and vote on the coming election. The State Services and the State Organizations shouldn’t be suspended by the governor, since the state representatives has their duty, the same has their executive. What is visible, that the invisible and needed show of power came into play. Since Christie clearly cannot talk or negotiate with his peers in New Jersey. Not only his ratings, but his scandals are now following him. Peace.

The Presidential Handshake report doesn’t say much, but it was a clear “error” by Museveni!

I finally got the whole COSASE report of the Presidential Handshake, what has been reported on my blog or page, has been comments of it. This time it would be direct quotes from the report that was put forward in Parliament from the Parliamentary Committee. That the President had an “error” was been weak, the whole ordeal was a bribe and the Committee didn’t have the courage to say so. Even as the position of every one was spelled out in the Report. Every single person paid out bribe was spelled out and the whole part of the allocation was broth to the daylight. Not that the insights was saying much new. But it still, shows how the President is controlling the Parliament and the use of funds. Since he was shocked of certain acts and that he was making it bonafide, but it wasn’t so. This story has been written back- and fourth.

Before more comments, let’s look at quotes from the report!

The Committee was informed by the management team of URA led by the Commissioner General that before the final arbitration ruling, the Uganda Government team briefed Cabinet on the 19th of November 2014 on the progress of the HOGL arbitration and H.E. the President promised to reward the team if they won the case” (…) “The Final Award on the merits of the arbitration was delivered on the 24th February, 2015 wherein the full panel of three Arbiters agreed in favour of Uganda Government and dismissed the entire claim of HOGL and awarded USD 4,083,840 in cost. The then Attorney General Hon. Fred Ruhindi on the 13th April 2015 (App. B1) wrote to H.E. the President reminding him of his promise to reward the team and requested him to consider a reward for noble team. He also attached a list of 24 proposed beneficiary” (…) “The Committee was informed that the Attorney General further led the Government team to meet H.E. the President at his country home in Rwakitura on the 17th May 2015 where the victory in the Heritage arbitration case was among other things discussed. That the H.E. The President thanked the team and directed the Commissioner General of URA to propose an appropriate reward for the team. H.E. The President also guided that the other Public Officers who had tremendously Contributed to the success of the case but had not been included on the first list generated by the Attorney General be included too” (COSASE, P: 8-9. 2017).

As a follow up to the H.E. the President’s letter of 16th November, 2015, the Commissioner General of URA wrote to the Permanent Secretary/Secretary to Treasury (PS/TS) in a letter dated 11th December, 2015 (App. B6) requesting him to formally designate her as accounting Officer through whom the reward would be paid and to formally requisition for the UGX 6,000,000,000 (Uganda Shillings Six Billions Only)” (…) “The Commissioner General, as advised and in a letter dated 5th May 2016 (App. B8) sought authority from the Hon. Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development to reallocate UGX. 6 Billion (Uganda Shillings Six Billion Only) from URA Tax Refund Account to URA Expenditure Account so that the 42 Public Officers could be paid and suggested that a supplementary to URA for that amount to be considered and handled by the Hon. Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development. The Hon. Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development did not grant this authority. However, by letter dated 19th October, 2016 (App. B10) he requested the Auditor General to issue an audit warrant for UGX 6 Billion” (COSASE, P: 10-11, 2017).

The Committee reviewed the budget for Financial Year 2016/2017, which was approved by the Board and subsequently appropriated by Parliament for URA activities and the UGX 6 Billion “handshake” was not budget for. The Committee further received evidence from the Board of URA to the effect that such money had not been provided for and they were hearing of that expenditure for the first time” (COSASE, P: 29, 2017).

The Committee observers therefore:

1. That it is true that USD 157 Million, which would have accrued as part of the Capital Gain Tax, was waived.

2. The contention arose out of a clause in the PSA which provided for waiver of tax signed by the then minister Hon. Syda Bbumba.

3. That the dispute would not have arisen if the PSA did not have a waiver of tax.

4. The then Ministry of Energy, Hon. Syda Bbumba, did not have authority to waive tax in that transaction and her auction of not having read the agreement before signing was irregular.

5. All the then Ministry of Energy who signed PSAs with similar clause acted ultra vires the law” (COSASE, P: 44, 2017).

Conclusion:

This “handshake” expenditure was not budgeted URA activity and therefore, a diversion of the UGX 6 Billion without lawful authority was contrary to the PFMA” (…) “H.E. The President’s approval of this “handshake” was bonafide. However, it was an error of judgement” (…) “That all funds paid out of URA account to the beneficiaries of the “handshake” should be refunded” (…) “The Executive should come up with a Bill within 90 days to regulate and streamline the Presidential Donations Budget” (COSASE, P: 45, 2017).

The Presidential Handshake has clearly showed the proof of how a visit at the Presidents farm in 2015 can lead-up to. President Museveni offered honorarium and bonuses to all the staff in the Tullow/Heritage Oil Tax Case, so all their work would benefit them. Without having it in budgets, without any votes or any sort of procedural activity, therefore it was an illegal allocation. That the Uganda Revenue Authority did allocations without proper actions, that the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development and Ministry of Energy all actors did wrong in this scenario. They misused the tax to their own benefit and the President allowed it to happen. Therefore, it is weird that the only thing the Committee concludes with a new legislation to stop it. Secondly, also refunds of the benefits for the civil servants and the NRM cronies. That the act was done without lawful authority, but that was well-known and not rocket science. IT was clear misuse of government funds to give someone an extra payday, which wasn’t allocated or had the proper legal stamp. Therefore, a clear bribe… not solicited funds which the state should pay their civil servants. Peace.

Reference:

The Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and the State Enterprises (Cosase) – ‘Report of the Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and the State Enterprises (COSASE) on the Investigations into the Circumstances under which the reward of UGX 6 BN was given to 42 Public Officers who participated in the Heritage Oil and Gas Arbitration Case’ (May, 2017)

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