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MPs want list of gov’t agencies hiding donor funds

The Parliamentary of the Republic of Uganda. (FILE PHOTO)

KAMPALA – The Chairperson of the Parliamentary Finance Committee, Henry Musasizi, has asked the Auditor General, John Muwanga to furnish Parliament with a list Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) that have been hiding donor funds from Government’s national budget, which funds aren’t audited as required by the law.

Musasizi made the remarks while interfacing with officials from the Office of the Auditor General that had been summoned to present their ministerial policy statement for the 2019/2020 national budget.

He said: “Give us a computation of the total money MDAs receive outside the budget,” said Musasizi.

Musasizi’s remarks follow a revelation by Joseph Muvawala, Executive Director of National Planning Authority (NPA) who asked Parliament in January 2019 to investigate the undeclared funds received by a number of Government agencies that are sent as donations, but the funds aren’t declared to the Treasury.

Muvawala told MPs that whereas the donation funds received by many Government agencies is meant to be reflected in the National Development Plan and national budget for appropriation by Parliament and ensure effective budgeting, there are a number of government entities that have left the Treasury in the dark on these funds.

“There is what we call on budget and there is that terminology off budget which never existed before. When you get money from European Union they do an audit, but the final audit for the budget that is still off budget it isn’t within. It distorts the budget so the decision should be is that all resources coming to institutions should be in the budget for appropriation that Parliament should appropriate all resources; budget and off-budget,” Muvawala was quoted saying early this year.

Muvawala said that the challenge is worsened by the format of the policy statements which he said doesn’t allow agencies to report any resources outside the one approved, out policy statement wasn’t balancing at all because it was bringing in things that couldn’t conform with the budget.

When asked if the Auditor General is aware of off budgeting among Government agencies, James Bantu, Director Forensic Audit confirmed the presence of the vice and pointed out Makerere as being one of the institutions hiding donor funds from Government.

Bantu said; “Yes especially for education institutions and the special audit of the finances of Makerere University revealed that there was a lot of donor funds that weren’t being approved by Parliament. We found that a bulk of these funds weren’t being reported.”

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