23 January 2014

Uganda: KCCA Losing Billions, Says Auditor General

A report by the auditor general has found that the Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) is losing huge sums of money to bad debts, payments for no work done and cash diversions without authority.

The report, for the year 2012-2013, shows that bad debts amount to Shs 83.6bn. The report also notes that Shs 69.5m deducted from staff salaries to be remitted to Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) cannot be accounted for. A further Shs 555.2m, supposed to constitute withholding tax from suppliers cannot be traced.

"It was noted that Shs 69,596,686 deducted as PAYE from staff salaries/allowances and Shs. 555,208,663 as six per cent withholding tax from suppliers of and services and purportedly remitted to Uganda Revenue Authority was not supported by acknowledgement receipts from Uganda Revenue Authority," partly reads the report.

In addition, KCCA has lost more than Shs 5bn in court cases, a matter the auditor general blames on KCCA. These include Shs 3.4bn paid in damages and accrued bank interest and additional/supplementary works as well as Shs 1.7bn in pending cases and a direct transfer under court order of Shs 1.5bn.

Work not done

The auditor general was also concerned that KCCA had paid for works that were yet to be realized. The auditors found that several contractors procured for road maintenance lacked experience, resulting in shoddy works or no work done. This included efforts to revamp several roads, including Buvuma road, Lakeside/Radio Maria road, Kago road and Sadler road in Nakawa division. This, the auditor general believes, may have cost KCCA billions.

The auditors also found the bids evaluation process faulty, resulting in incompetent bidders getting awards for hefty contracts.

"In some contracts, the evaluation process was not articulate enough and issues of experience of bidders for comparable magnitude of work were overlooked and as a result one of the 'best evaluated bidder' failed to perform and abandoned the works," reads part of the report.

When asked about this by the auditor general, KCCA officials claimed that the authority was undergoing "many changes, procurement function inclusive."

The auditor general was also dissatisfied that KCCA had not instituted a Public Accounts committee to track the institution's expenditure and revenue flow.

Stolen property

The auditor general also found that several expensive equipment had been lost at KCCA. They include two weighbridges, one reportedly stolen from Kiteezi by KCCA officials. A second weighbridge, previously installed at the container village in Nakivubo, was initially transferred to Kiteezi and later stolen and sold to Rwanda.

It has never been recovered. KCCA officials reportedly told the auditor general, that the matters were being handled by police.

Also missing are logbooks for several cars and motorcycles as well as land titles for some KCCA properties, worth billions. The missing land titles, include one for Kulambiro cemetery, which the auditor general fears, could soon be sold off.

KCCA reaction

When contacted for a comment, KCCA officials were unavailable, with Executive Director Jennifer Musisi reportedly out of the country. However, the KCCA deputy spokesperson, Robert Kalumba, said he could not comment as he had not received a copy of the auditor general's report.

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