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COSASE kicks out URA after Akol snubs meeting

Officials from the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) were Tuesday, April 26, kicked out of the COSASE meeting. (COURTESY PHOTO)

KAMPALA – Officials from the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) were Tuesday, April 26, kicked out of the meeting with the Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) after realizing that the Commissioner General, Doris Akol had snubbed the meeting before formerly writing to Parliament alerting them of her no show.

The discovery of Ms. Akol’s snubbing infuriated COSASE chairperson Mubarak Munyagwa who argued that the law gives Ms. Akol the responsibility to respond to audit queries as the accounting officer of the Authority.

The Committee was Tuesday, April 16, slated to receive responses from the Commissioner General on anomalies highlighted in the Auditor General’s report for a number of audit reports dating back in 2014 to the latest 2018 audit report.

However, the Members of Parliament (MPs) were shocked to learn that the URA team had been led by Mr. Henry Saka, the commissioner domestic taxes who told MPs that Ms. Akol had travelled to South Africa on a two-week trip and he had taken over as the accounting officer, a statement that angered Mr. Munyagwa who asked the team to leave because only the accounting officer, should give answers and that they have nothing to proceed with, unless Ms. Akol shows up.

Among the queries the Authority has to explain are those raised in the December 2018 audit report where Ms. Akol has to explain why there was revenue collection shortfall of UGX606b, as well as uncollectible cash amounting to UGX1.03b and the un-receipted collections from Bank of Uganda to a tune of UGX130b.

Ms. Akol will be tasked to explain the domestic tax arrears that have hit UGX2.6 trillion, uncollected stamp duty from land transactions worth

UGX239b, the failure by URA to track All High-Risk Goods worth UGX266b, the failure to collect identified taxes amounting to UGX108.08b as well as why the Authority issued tax clearing certificates to taxpayers with who already have tax arrears to a tune of UGX809.6b.

The Auditor General also noted that URA has long outstanding NSSF arrears amounting to UGX3.7b as well as excessive cash withdrawals of UGX13b in excess of the monthly cash limit of UGX40m as well as the failure to advertise a call for bids to provide support and maintenance of disaster recovery site firewall amounting to UGX619m.

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