Auditor General’s report exposes wastage, misuse of funds

The Auditor General has released the audit reports for Financial Year ending June 30, 2019, which flashes spotlight on government entities wasting  public funds.
Uganda Civil Aviation Authority (UCCA) was singled out for paying contractors modifying the passenger terminal at Entebbe International Airport an “unjustified claim”, against the terms of the contracts.
Government lost Shs11.4 billion, the Auditor General John Muwanga, said during a meeting with the Speaker, Rebecca Kadaga on Wednesday, 15 January 2020.
“The review of contract documents indicated that the contractor claimed for Shs11.4 billion as price adjustment. However in the original signed contract, it was clearly stated under clause SCC 47.1 that this contract was not subject to price adjustment,” said Muwanga.
Muwanga said at the expiry of the contract, only one floor was delivered, blaming the contractors for being sluggish.
Government has also been singled out for dipping its fingers to the tune of Shs200 billion into the Petroleum Fund, which is originally reserved to finance infrastructure programmes and not government expenditure.
Muwanga said he could not verify whether the funds were used for infrastructure or formed part of government’s basket fund for recurrent expenditure.

With the 2021 general election drawing closer, government has been accused of underfunding the Electoral Commission, delaying serious timelines that could ultimately affect the Commission’s preparedness to hold the elections.
“Activities critical to the roadmap that should have been implemented include demarcation of electoral areas, re-organisation of polling stations, specialised training and acquisition of voter biometrics system among others,” said Muwanga.
Out of the required Shs798.8 billion, only Shs141 billion has been released, which reflects only 18 per cent of the funds required.
Government has also lost Shs60 billion in undeclared royalties from the mining sector.
The Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development collected Shs10.5 billion from royalties, although reports from the Customs and Excise Department of Uganda Revenue Authority indicated government should have collected Shs70.1 billion.
This is a weakness the Auditor General attributed to the Ministry, which relies on the mining companies to file the royalties return and do not have an independent counter-verification mechanism to effect the same.
Government bank accounts amounting to Shs66.5 billion and U$500,000 was attached to settle court claims against government, through Garnishee orders [orders of court attaching properties or funds to settle outstanding claims].
Speaker Kadaga said she will shine a light on the issues for MPs’ attention.
“I will have to speak about some of these things especially the Petroleum Funds; we shall have to light some fires there,” she said.