OAG Report states that 356 Town Council lacks funding

In the February 2021 Office of the Auditor General Report it states a very simple fact. The state has created more local government entities than it can manage to pay for. They have in this instance created to many Town Councils and therefore, they cannot afford to operate them. It is a total of 356 Town Councils, which they cannot afford to pay for.

The Auditor General Report says this:

Government has over the last years created a Local Governments particularly Town Councils which should be financially independent from the Districts from which they were created in line with Section 79 of the Local Governments Act. Records reviewed indicated that Government had created a total of 584 town councils by June 2019/2020 out of which only 228 have been approved by MoFPED for direct access of resources from the national budget. As explained last year, it requires on average UGX.1.8bn to run a Town Council. This implies that the balance of 356 town councils would require approximately UGX.640.8bn for both development and operational costs. Failure to fund Town Councils significantly affects the ability of these Town Councils to Operate and deliver services. It appears that Government is increasingly finding challenges to provide the required funding for the newly created Town Councils” (Office of Auditor General (OAG) Report – February 2021).

It is telling that there is existing 584 Town Councils in the Republic, but there is lacking funds for 356 Town Councils, which is about 60% of all of them. That says how mismanaged the Local Government organization is. They are just creating more constituencies for the elections, but not thinking of how to cover the costs of actually having them. That is why this is so prevalent.

This little passage of the OAG is only about Town Councils, but is a part of a bigger problem of the gerrymandering. Where the state is creating local government bodies without any considerations of the costs. This is why 60% of them lacks funding and cannot afford to be operational. This says it all.

This is how the National Resistance Movement (NRM) is “securing your future” or delivering “steady progress”. Peace.

OAG Muwanga reports that the Local Government misuse of public funds, while Court Awards are going unpaid!

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Parts of this has been reported before, but that was as reports of the coverage from Parliament as the Auditor General John Muwanga we’re attending preliminary sessions and delivering OAG Report of 31st December 2016, which is the end of year report from the OAG. That one has stories to tell. Parts of this are known, but they are proving that words in Parliament had other numbers than the report that is released later on online. Still, the vast waste of funds and the unallocated or unaccounted funds proves questionable use of public coffers in the Local Government, the districts, parish and municipalities. These funds are important that is well spent and accounted for, because the funds are supposed to go to local government salaries and investments for the citizens. Therefore the mismanagement of this is thieving or maladministration from the civil servants or the locally elected officials. Take a look!

Outstanding Court Awards:

“Government had outstanding amounts in court awards, compensations and other liabilities totaling to UGX.684Bn as at 30th June 2016. The outstanding amount in Court awards and compensations has been accumulating over the last five financial years raising from 54Bn to now 684Bn. I observed that as a result of government’s failure to pay these court awards on time, the awards have accumulated interest and in some instances the interest has exceeded the principal award. As at the close of the year outstanding interest had accumulated to UGX.175.3Bn” (OAG, P: 12, 2016).

Local Government issues:

“The amount is comprised of UGX .1.310Bn which lacked procurement files, UGX.21.225Bn where there was breach of procurement procedures, UGX .4.695Bn involving inadequate contract management and UGX.0.315Bn of unauthorized contract variations. Conse­quently, it becomes difficult to ascertain whether value for money was achieved” (…) “Expenditure amounting to UGX.3.896Bn was identified as funds unaccounted for. Consequently, I could not confirm that the funds were utilized for the intended purposes. The delayed submission of accountability may also lead to falsification of documents resulting into loss of funds. This was caused by failure of Accounting Officers to enforce accountability controls and lack of an advances ledger to monitor advances” (…) “Regulation 32 of the Local Governments Financial and Accounting Regulations, 2007 requires Councils to ensure collection of all budgeted revenue in an approved manner. Review of revenue performance revealed significant under collection of Local revenue in 161 Councils amounting to UGX.17.165Bn” (OAG, P: 31, 2016). “Out of 307 Local Governments, 148 entities representing 48% of the Local governments lacked land titles for the land where council properties are located. There is a risk that council land is exposed to encroachment and disputes which later leads to litigation in courts of law arising from land disputes between the Councils and the Communities” (OAG, P: 33, 2016).

Here you can see the numbers and it is dozens of Presidential Handshakes, the handshakes of the President could go unaccounted for a dozens of times. That the Government have learned from the Parliament and Central Government is clear, since this is rampant and seems to indicated in many local governments. It cannot be okay that the lacking of documentation and of how the monies where spent. Of how and where the documentations went before the allocation of the funds. That shows malpractice and maladministration in the Local Government. Something that is also evident in the Courts, the Courts hasn’t paid out their awards on time and adds extra interests, which the government have to pay as well. Peace.

Reference:

Office of Auditor General (OAG) – ‘Extracts of the Summary of Key Findings of the Annual Report of the Auditor General for the Year Ended 31st December 2016’ (31.12.2016)

AG Muwanga address mismanagement of public funds in the Local Government; staggering amount of funds that disappears!

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I hope this does not boggle your mind. Bear in mind that the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) lots of scrutiny for paying bonuses on a Tax-Case against Tullow Oil Corporations. This has led to giant pay-out’s to fellow loyalists in the regime and in the civil service, and other who helped the arranged case that they won in favour of the URA and the NRM; so that AG Muwanga tells about bad practices in the districts and counties is not surprising. When I went through the local portfolios during the campaigning, there was usually funds not spend or even unaccounted in a dozens districts. That was last budget year, not the one mentioned from the AG this time around.

Therefore, here is his revelation in Parliament yesterday:

“Auditor General, John Muwanga, who presented the report to the Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga at Parliament on January 4, 2017, said the accounting officers attributed the irregularities to challenges encountered during decentralization of salary payments on the Integrated Financial Management System and Integrated Personnel and Payment System. “Many of the accounting officers explained that they had initiated the process of recovering the overpaid amounts and training of staff to build capacity and address the challenges. I wait for evidence to that effect,” Muwanga stated in the report. At least 33 local governments are quoted to have procured items worth Shs 27.5 billion without following public procurement regulations and guidelines. Out of this, Shs 1.3 billion lacked procurement files; Shs 21.2 billion where there was breach of procurement procedures; Shs 4.6 billion involving inadequate contract management and Shs 315 million from unauthorized contract variations. About Shs 3.8 billion was identified as funds unaccounted for by the local governments. “I could not confirm that the funds were utilized for the intended purposes. The delayed submission of accountability may also lead to falsification of documents resulting into loss of funds”. On under collection of local revenue, 161 councils registered a shortfall in collection of revenue amounting to Shs 17.1 billion, majorly attributed to failure to carry out revenue enumeration and assessments, non-enforcement of contracts with private revenue collectors, understaffing and incomplete revenue records” (Parliament Watch Uganda, 04.01.2016).

If you wonder where it went, than the only ones knowing is the ones that was in charge of transactions and the ones actually taking the monies. The Public Coffers gotten looted without proper procedure for random trades. We can only imagine where the money went. Who used it and for what purpose is not easy to know, if it was buying a great car or house, even if it was paying a side-chick of a local mayor, we do not know. What we do know is that the money left the system without acknowledgement and without needed guidelines of the usage of the funds. That is worrying how easily billions can fly out of the coffers. Brown envelopes of funds easy spent on joy and needed supplies for the elected and public servants without any recites or valid reason for the use.

That this is clear indication of the practices and lacking moral of both central government and local government is certain. Certainly if the Central Government cared and the Local Government was worried of repercussions for their misbehaviour they would have acted otherwise and might even tried to payback the funds to the state. Instead, they used it without warning and might be wasted monies on luxury items during the election.

When the Local Government even with lacking of protocol extend their goodwill to forge documents to prove the valid use, you know the system is made wrong and need a recharge, there are certainly to many loose ends when they go to that extend to clean their wrong doings. Peace.