9 December 2017

Uganda: Government Spends Shs497b On Workshops, Consultancies

Photo: Paul Adude/Daily Monitor
Lands minister Betty Amongi (circled) with officials from the Lands ministry and Uganda Lands Commissions during a recent retreat. The ministry was the top spender on consultancies.

Kampala — A report released this week by the Internal Security Organisation (ISO) shows that more than 50 government ministries, departments, and agencies spent a whopping Shs497b on workshops and consultancies, raising the red flag on wasteful expenditure.

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.

The national spy agency compiled the report between July and November in response to President Museveni's earlier letter demanding information on how much money ministries and agencies were costing the government.

Lt Col Joseph Aliganyira, the ISO director of political affairs, while releasing the report in Kampala on Wednesday, said: "Public servants are using the consultancies channel as top-up of their incomes because they do consultancies among themselves on the same work they are supposed to have done in their line of duty.

This money being spent on consultancies of this nature would top up salaries of crying civil servants, service delivery and stock drugs in hospitals."

Lt Col Aliganyira said the body is concerned about the wasteful expenditures in government even when some of the agencies are carrying out duplicate roles and leaving the officials in ministries largely idle. He said the report had already been submitted to the Office of the President by Col Frank Kaka Bagyenda, the director general of ISO.

The Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development was the top spender on consultancies with Shs66.6b in one financial year.

This was followed by Ministry of Water and Environment (Shs52.8b), Ministry of Finance and Planning (Shs51.4b), Ministry of Agriculture (Shs28.2b), Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development (Shs26.9b) and Ministry of Education and Sports (Shs16b).

Other top spending ministries on consultancy are Ministry of Defence (Shs14.6b), Ministry of Works and Transport (Shs11.5b), Ministry of Local Government (Shs9.4b), Office of the Prime Minister (Shs7.8b) and Ministry of Health (Shs5.5b).

The top 10 big spenders on consultancies among the agencies are Uganda Cancer Institute (Shs9.8b), National Information Technology Authority (Shs7.8b), Kampala Capital City Authority (Shs6.8b), Uganda Management Institute (Shs4.8b), Uganda National Roads Authority (Shs3.9b) and Uganda National Metrological Authority (Shs3.5b). Others are Uganda Heart Institute (Shs3.1b), Electoral Commission (Shs3b) and the Rural Electrification Agency (Shs3b).

The ISO report queried how the ministries and agencies spent Shs104b altogether in one financial year when other ministries such as Trade and Industry are underfunded.

"The money spent on workshops can finance the 2017/18 Ministry of Trade, Industry and Commerce budget (Shs85b)," the report notes.

Ministry of Health topped the spenders on workshops and seminars in the Financial Year 2016/17 at a tune of Shs9 billion followed by Ministry of Agriculture (Shs7.3b), Ministry of Finance and Planning (Shs6.1b), Ministry of Water and Environment (Shs5.6b) and Ministry of Education (Shs5.5b).

Others are Ministry of Local Government (Shs5.1b), Office of the Prime Minister (Shs5.1b), Ministry of Public Service (Shs3.4b), Ministry of Lands (Shs2.7b), Ministry of Gender (Shs2.3b) and Ministry of Energy (Shs2b).

In this category, National Agricultural Organisation was the top agency spender with Shs5.4b, followed by Uganda National Bureau of Statistics (Shs5.3b), National Agricultural Advisory Services (Shs3b), Uganda National Examinations Board (Shs2.2b), National Environmental Management Authority (Shs1.9b) and National Planning Authority (Shs1.7b).

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