By Markson Omagor
The Permanent Secretary/ Secretary to Treasury has declined to renew contracts of 108 Chief Administrative Officers for the Financial Year 2021-2022.
In a letter dated 31st March, 2021 and signed off by Patrick Ocailap for the Permanent Secretary and addressed to the Speaker of Parliament, most of these CAO’s have pending queries with Internal Auditor General or Auditor General.
Ocailap in his letter appointing Accounting Officers for FY 2021/2022 said the Permanent Secretary takes note of issues raised by the Auditor General before renewing contracts of Accounting Officers.
“The Public Finance Management Act mandates the Secretary to the Treasury to appoint or designate Accounting Officers in accordance with the Act except that the Secretary to the Treasury shall not appoint or designate a person an Accounting Officer where according to the report of the Internal Auditor General or Auditor General, that person has not accounted for the public resources and assets of a vote for a Financial Year.” Ocailap’s letter reads in part.
Ocailap also explained that non accountability by accounting officers takes different forms as follows;
If the Officer fails to exercise control over the receipt, custody and utilization of financial resources of that vote causing a significant deviation of the budget objectives of a vote;
Does not conform or comply with financial and operational procedures laid down in any legislation or any regulation or instruction issued under such legislation which is meant to ensure effective control over the expenditure of a vote;
Authorizes commitment of public funds beyond what is appropriated by Parliament;
Fails to maintain and account for assets and inventories of the vote;
Fails to put in place effective systems of risk management, internal control and internal audit as per section 45(2) of the AcU
Does not keep proper records, conceals or wrongfully destroys information that is required to be recorded under this Act;
Fails to submit financial reports by the due dates as required under section 50 and 51. of the Act;
Opens or causes to be opened a bank account for public or official use without the permission of the Accountant General;
Fails to report to the Secretary to the Treasury any cases of apparent waste or extravagant administration or failure to achieve value for money.
Fails to attend to recommendations of Oversight Organs of Government.
The CAO’s who are among many other Accounting Officers not appointed will face Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee and further action arising from the PAC interface shall be reported by the Minister of Finance through the Treasury Memorandum which is subject to audit by the Auditor General.
Among the 108 are— from Eastern Uganda: Ezaruku Kazimiro CAO, Bugiri, , Andrew Mawejje CAO Kamuli, Bukone Richard Sajabi CAO Kapchorwa, Charles Kumakech Oluba CAO Moroto, Joseph Kisubi Ag. CAO Nakapiripirit.
In Teso sub region, the following were not appointed; Abdu Batambuze CAO Kumi, Seraphine Alia CAO Katakwi , Luke Lokwii Lokolimoi Lokuda CAO Soroti, Francis Opolot CAO Amuria, Joseph Maira Mukasa CAO Bukedea, Gabriel Atama CAO Serere, John Bosco Akera CAO Kaberamaido, and Nasser Mukibi CAO Kapelebyong.
In Bugisu sub region, the following CAO’s are affected; Moses Sseguya CAO Sironko, Loyce Namboozo CAO Mbale, Tappy Namulondo Ag. CAO Bududa, Leonard Tumusiime Ag. CAO Bulambuli, and Wotunya Henry Peter CAO Manafwa.
Bukedi sub region has Esau Ekachelan CAO Pallisa, Dunstan Balaba CAO Tororo, Lucy Frances Amulen CAO Butaleja, and James Luyimbazi CAO Butebo.
Others are; Robert Mulondo CAO Kaliro, Balaba Swaibu Ag. CAO Bukwo, and Aloysius Aloka CAO Kween.