Auditor General Report says the government lacks ‘Fleet Management’

This is really special, unique and utter brilliance. For a government and a ruling regime so addicted to cars/vehicles. The Auditor General Report is really stating the errors of the National Resistance Movement (NRM). The OAG is clearly not saving its words.

When it states: Management of government vehicles (Fleet management) is faced with a number of challenges, such as: inability to respond to national emergencies, like COVID 19; inability to support the delivery of public service by government entities; high government expenditure on purchase of vehicles; misuse of government vehicles; inaccurate vehicle management records; and a general lack of a comprehensive and standard government fleet management policy” (OAG, February 2021).

If you read those sentences… the challenges is the whole gig and set-up. There is nothing that is done correctly and neither is there any procedures to follow. That is the government of over 30 years for you. A NRM who is always in every election buying vehicles and gives away that to public officials. Therefore, they should have secured these things and ensured their ‘fleet’ which they clearly are not careful about.

Just in the last three years, 36 government entities bought a total of 677 vehicles with a total cost of 176 billion shillings. That is the average price of each vehicle for close to 260 million shillings each. While the COVID-19 donations to cars was only 38.98 billion shillings, which is used to acquire 202 vehicles. That is at a price of 192,5 million shillings for each vehicles. So, the prices on the cars have clearly gone down, but still expensive.

It is ironic that the Daily Monitor reported this earlier this year:

The industry price increase is estimated to be between 6.25 per cent and 9 per cent spread across all sizes and models. Uganda is a net importer with much of the country’s motor vehicle imports sourced from Japan, India, South Africa, UK and Germany. According to data from Uganda Revenue Authority earlier this year, a total of 5,188 units were cleared in December 2020, which was a 22 per cent increase from the 4,012 units in the previous month” (Dorothy Nakaweesi – ‘Prices of used cars increase 30.04.2021).

So, on that note alone the OAG report doesn’t make much sense. Unless, the state suddenly bought smaller cars and not just Toyota Land Cruisers with V8 or something similar. Now, they are buying Toyota Corolla’s or a Sedan, which is cheaper than a big SUV.

We know there is no proper guidance or protocol for the fleet or vehicles as earlier stated, as the OAG Report further says this:

Furthermore, I observed that 38 entities (76.0%) out of the 50 entities did not have a specific policy or guidelines on Motor vehicle management to guide the usage and eliminate theft, losses, wastage and misuse of motor vehicles. This was in addition to the absence of a comprehensive standardized fleet management policy of Government. Different aspects of government vehicles management are found in different policies and guidelines cited in various government documents, such as; the Uganda Public Service Standing Orders 2010, the Public Procurement and Disposal Act, 2014, and Treasury Instructions, 2017. This affects the entities’ ability to address the unique motor vehicle management challenges which may not be envisaged in the standing Orders and Treasury Instructions” (OAG February 2021).

So, the government haven’t any sort of idea what it needs to do, if the cars are lost, forgotten about or lack service. These cars can just dwindle or disappear into the thin air. Just like cars bought decades ago and suddenly found in a government organization parking lot dusting down. While the cars are falling apart without anyone knowing why and was a procurement deal gone bad or something. Therefore, this report isn’t shocking, but its proof of why this is a mismanaged cash-bonanza for the government entities.

To make things even worse, the OAG Report says this:

I noted that 33 of the selected entities holding a total of 4,979 vehicles spent UGX.123.4bn on vehicle maintenance, and had an increment of 35.3% of the average total maintenance costs per vehicle over the 3 year period. The increasing maintenance costs were attributed to the ageing fleet. For example, 1,794 vehicles (55%) out of 3,234 vehicles held by 27 entities had exceeded the recommended 5 years useful life or had their mileage above the recommended 250,000km” (OAG February 2021).

The Auditor General is clear in the message. Though this is only from 33 government entities and still shows a pattern. It also shows the massive car-park or fleet it has. Which is ageing just like the President and needs a peaceful transition to buy new ones. Since, the government is on a spending spree when it comes to vehicles.

That will clearly not stop as there is a possibility there is a need to downplay the value of the current fleet and even scrap the cars eventually… as they are not fit to be on the road. This here is another proof of no guidelines or planned procurement of the vehicles. As that is a short-term expense and not planned for what happens after a while. That’s how it looks and it isn’t shocking.

We can always remember the vehicles bought for the papal visit a few years back. Those cars was spent a small fortune on, but left behind. To never be seen and kept in a government parking-lot.

The OAG is just putting the truth out and this needs to be discussed, as this is horrible governance and misuse of government funds. They are wasting millions of shillings and cannot even take care of the car park it has created. Peace.

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.