Parliamentary Commission gets time to respond to audit queries

COMMISIONERS OF PARLIAMENT HON PETER OGWANG HON ROBBINAH NABBANJA THE CLERK TO PARLIAMENT MRS JANE KIBIRIGE AND DIRECTOR COMMUNICATION CHRIS OBORE IN A MEETING  WITH COSASE. 8221The Parliamentary Commission has been given up to 27th February 2018 to submit documentation to queries raised in the Auditor General’s report. The Parliamentary Commission was scheduled to make the submission Thursday, 8th February 2018 before the Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) following an adjournment on Wednesday.
While appearing before the Committee, the Commission requested for two weeks to allow them prepare adequately. In her letter to the Committee, the Clerk to Parliament, Jane Kibirige, said that the process of compiling the information would take longer than anticipated.
Parliamentary Commissioner, Peter Ogwang, assured the Committee that the Commission is committed and will provide all the required documentation.
“It is true that the accountability we require is evidence based and we don’t want to come here when we do not have all documents. It is therefore, my humble request that you give us time to prepare,” said Ogwang.
He allayed the fears of legislators saying that the Commission has a good track record in complying with accountability requirements.
“If you look at these queries, from 2014 to 2016, we only have 14 queries. We are better off and we want to be an excellent institution; we want to be the first institution in Uganda which is clear from queries,” said Ogwang.
Hon. Robinah Nabbanja pointed out that the accountability required is from several years back and compiling them requires ample time.
“You will realize that the documents required are from four years back and that requires time for preparation,” said Nabbanja.
The Committee Members however, expressed disappointment over the failure by the Commission to present the documentation despite assurances that they would be ready.
Hon. Beatrice Anywar (Kitgum Municipality) said that the Commission should have made the plea for an extension when they appeared on Wednesday.
“We need to do things in an organized manner because we are in the limelight; the world is watching us,” said Anywar.
Hon. Abraham Byandala (Katikamu County North) gave a nod to granting time to the Commission saying that the purpose of the audit is to improve systems.
“Let us give the Commission time to prepare adequately because it is pointless for them to come when they are not ready,” said Byandala.
Kasilo County MP, Hon. Elijah Okupa also agreed to the request noting that compilation of such documentation requires ample time.
The Committee Vice Chairperson, Hon. Anita Among, directed the Commission to submit the management letter as they compile documentation.
Committee Chairperson, Hon. Abdu Katuntu appealed to the entities scheduled to appear before the Committee to ensure that they prepare adequately to avoid cases of backlog.
“Our experience as a committee is that many of these entities that come, always ask for time and we grant them. The Commission has presented genuine reasons and we shall give them more time,” said Katuntu.
He said that instead of two weeks, the Commission will be granted a month to present their responses to the audit queries.
“The Commission will appear before the committee on 13th March 2018, but we expect them to submit the documentation by 27th February, 2018 so that we all have sufficient time to prepare,” said Katuntu.



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