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MPs grill Police on Shs21Bn training, audit queries

Uganda Police Force Accounting Officer Rogers Muhirwa attributed most of the arrears highlighted in the report to insufficient budget allocation to utilities including rent, telecommunication, water and electricity (PML Daily PHOTO)

PARLIAMENT – Legislators on the Public Accounts Committee, Wednesday tasked officials from the Uganda Police Force on how Shs21bn meant for training of its officers was spent on 250 officers.

This was during a meeting held between PAC and the Police officers who had been summoned to respond to queries raised in the June 30, 2016 audit report.

The report noted that Police had budgeted Shs15.8bn to carry out staff training, however, a sum of Shs6,14Bn was further spent pushing the funds to Shs21,98BN yet the force didn’t carry out the training needs assessment to determine the staff performance gaps.

Additionally, the audit report revealed that the training reports availed to the investigators did not indicate courses undertaken and places where the training took place.

Further, the report highlighted that whereas the records indicate 250 officers were trained in Police disciplinary court procedures, there were no records of the names of the officers trained and course modules trained in.

Yet still, the reports did not indicate the training instructors or facilities who and what was paid to them, “I was, therefore, unable to ascertain whether Shs21.98Bn spent on training was appropriately spent and properly unaccounted for,” the report read in part.

MPs on Public Accounts Committee (PAC) queried expenditures that do not tally with the proposed budgets for the two previous financial years, citing some expenditures that are double the money allocated (PML Daily PHOTO)

The Force was also faulted for acting spending over Shs296,229,323 on 24 officers whose payment was processed without verifying pensioners’ life certificates to confirm that indeed they are alive and eligible for the payments.

The Audit report also reported that despite the Force highlighting activities to be undertaken in its budget, some of these like the purchase of 100 acres of land for PPP relocation within 30Km from Kampala wasn’t acquired even when Government released Shs13.62bn.

Police was also blamed for failing to purchase motor vehicle and other transport equipment that the force said was to be used for carrying out Police activities during the February 2016 General elections.

The records indicate Police had requested for Shs41,76bn, but the Treasury released Shs42,93bn indicating Shs1,173,645,318 in excess.

While appearing before the Committee today, Rogers Muhirwe told the Committee that 40 specialized vehicles for policing the 2016 general elections under a four-year financing facility with effect from 2014/2015 were to be purchased.

The Auditor highlighted that all funds were received, however, operating vehicles were not procured.

When grilled about the matter, Muhiirwe said the expenditure was classified in nature, an argument that was rejected by the audit team revealing they never make a mistake of raising queries on classified expenditures.

It wasn’t long before one MP pointed out that the vehicles were procured in August 2016, five months after the elections had been concluded.

The revelation rattled the Committee which tasked the Police team to provide details on how the purchase was carried out.

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