ISO rates army, parliament, State House, Uneb most extravagant  

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An intelligence report by Internal Security Organisation (ISO) rated State House, Parliament, the army and Uganda National Examinations Board [Uneb] as the country’s biggest spenders.

This is contained in a report on wasteful government spending in ministries, departments and agencies released last week.

The intelligence report compiled between July and November says State House and Parliament spent Shs78b on travels in and outside Uganda in the last Financial Year.

State House spent a total of Shs56b on travel while Parliament used Shs21b in the same Financial Year 2016/17, and the army Shs33.3b on fuel to run its military equipment.

State House topped the list of the top 10 big spenders on travel at a staggering sum of Shs56.1b in the 2016/17 Financial Year.

In the ISO report, Uganda National Examinations Board (Uneb) topped the list of big spending agencies with Shs13.6b used by officials on travels.

Other big spenders were named as Parliament (Shs21.4b), Ministry of Health (Shs19.6b), Ministry of Education (Shs15.9b), Ministry of Defence (Shs15.9b), Ministry of Water and Environment (Shs12.9b), Ministry of Finance (Shs11.1b), Ministry of Agriculture (Shs11.1b), Office of the Prime Minister (Shs10.5b) and the Judiciary (Shs9b).

Other big spending agencies are the National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO) at Shs11.8b, Uganda National Bureau of Statistics (Ubos) at Shs9.7b, Uganda Revenue Authority at Shs5.5b and Rural Electrification Agency (REA) at Shs4.4b.

The Defence ministry also defended its staggering expenditure on fuel after the ISO report cited it as the big spender on that vote at a tune of Shs33.3b in 2016/17 Financial Year.

During a press conference at the ISO headquarters at Nakasero in Kampala on Wednesday, Lt Col Joseph Aliganyira, the intelligence agency’s Director for Political Affairs, blamed wasteful expenditures in ministries, departments and agencies for imbalance in remuneration of civil servants and as cause of frequent industrial action.

He said over 50 government ministries, departments, and agencies spent a whopping Shs497b on workshops and consultancies.

A total of Shs104b was spent by the different ministries and agencies on workshops and seminars and another Shs392.7b spent on consultancies in the Financial Year 2016/17.

MPs given government ultimatum

A cross-section of Members of Parliament gave government a 30-day ultimatum to merge its Ministries, Departments and Agencies in order to minimize duplication of work and wastage.

The members, mostly from the ruling National Resistance Movement [NRM] Party say that several agencies are underperforming yet they take chunks of money for their operations.

The MPs are considering a private members bill in the event that government takes no action within the 30-days.

MPs led by Bukooli Central MP Solomon Sirwanyi told a Press Conference at Parliament this morning that government could save about 1.7 trillion Shillings by realigning the work of all ministries, departments and agencies.

He added that agencies like Uganda National Roads Authority have become more powerful than the mother ministries.

Kole North MP Boney Okello describes as unfortunate reports that the agencies spent 352 billion Shillings travels in only one year. He says such extravagance should never be tolerated in a struggling.