ENTEBBE – The Leader of the Opposition (LOP) in Parliament, Hon Betty Aol Ocan, has decried the low staffing levels in her office, saying it undermines effectiveness.
Ms. Ocan, who was opening a two-day retreat for Members of the Shadow Cabinet at the Imperial Golf Hotel, Entebbe, said there was a need to raise the staff levels in the office.
“The issue of staff is very critical. The last time I discussed it with the Speaker of Parliament was two weeks ago, but she [Speaker] said no to more staff,” she said.
The retreat, which is also being attended by staff in the Office of the Leader of the Opposition, commenced Friday 15 March 2019.
Earlier, the Director, Office of the Leader of the Opposition, Ruth Ekirapa Byoona, said that the department has only ten policy analysts yet they need to deploy them and cover all committees of Parliament.
The policy analysts are part of the 23 staff currently attached to LOP’s office. The other staff are administrative assistants, assistant secretaries and office assistants.
“The technical staff are only 10 which is a very small number. They are over stretched and my prayer is that the number is doubled for efficiency,” she said.
Moses Kyaligonza, a Principal Policy Analyst in the Office of the Leader of Opposition said that they are over stretched given the limited number of staff.
“The burden we have is that we need to analyse what the government ministries come up with and make alternative policy statements,” said Mr. Kyaligonza.
He noted that because of the thin number of staff, they have decided to put more emphasis on sectoral committees since that is where most policy issues are handled.
The Shadow Minister for Education and Sports, MP Mathias Mpuuga said that the opposition has been given chance to appoint a few staff on limited contract basis to beef up the office.
“The opposition has a chance to appoint contract staff. The LOP coming into office can specifically choose these individuals carefully so that they add value to the office,” he said.
Mr. Mpuuga also added that there was no need to witch-hunt civil servants in their office since the Public Service Sanding Orders prohibit them from being political.