Public Finance Act should be practical – Deputy Speaker

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The Deputy Speaker of Parliament Rt. Hon. Jacob Oulanyah has hinted on the need to have the new Public Finance Act reviewed to make its provisions more practical and deadlines attainable.

In his remarks while receiving an assessment report on gender and equity from the Equal Opportunities Commission at Parliament May 3rd, Speaker Oulanyah noted that adjusting to the new law is a challenge faced by many spending agencies.

“There are some problems with the new law. Frontloading of the budget is still a big challenge for several government Departments and Agencies. Many of them have failed to meet set deadlines for submission of Policy statements. The law should be reviewed to make it more practical,” he noted.

The Deputy Speaker expressed concern over the failure by the Public Finance Act to provide adequate time for the Equal Opportunities Commission to scrutinize all policy Statements to gauge their gender and equity compliance with the law.

The Commission in its assessment report has tasked Parliament not to provide resources to 36 spending agencies that failed the gender and equity test.

The agencies range from Ministries to several of Uganda’s Missions abroad.

“The Commission has discovered that despite the poor performance of schools in Eastern Uganda in PLE, UCE and UACE, the Ministry of Education has not provided any measures to address the performance inequalities in its budget for the next financial year,” Sylvia Muwebwa Ntambi the Commission Chairperson emphasized.

She faulted the Ministry of Agriculture for failing to provide funds to Agribusiness, Agricultural Support Services and Water for Agriculture.

Section 11(e) of the Act calls for all Ministerial Policy Statements and Budgets to be gender and equity responsive. It also provides for specifying measures taken by agencies to equalize opportunities for men, women, Pwds and other marginalized groups.

The Commission blamed the shortfalls recorded by some of the spending agencies to the shift from output based budgeting to performance based budgeting.

 

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