The Inspector General of Government (IGG), Irene Mulyagonja has said the Ugx 6 billion shillings paid to 42 government officers was irregular.
Mulyagonja, who appeared before Parliament’s committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) on February 20, 2017, said the justification that the officers did an extraordinary job in helping government save a $434 million capital gains tax slapped against Heritage Oil and Gas Limited does not count.
Quoting the Code of Conduct in the Uganda Public Service, Mulyagonja revealed that Section 7 states that an appropriate reward and recognition shall be awarded to an officer who exhibits good ethical conduct.
She added that a reward shall be accorded to the public officer by the responsible officer or an appropriate authority who has supervision over this person.
The IGG stated that the provision in the code of ethics is about ethical conduct and not good performance.
“Justification that says good ethical conduct entitles a person to an award for bringing about a win of a case for the government of Uganda or public institution is a misrepresentation,” Mulyagonja told the MPs.
She had appeared before the committee to give her position on the presidential handshake, which has since its revelation early this year raised public furor and prompted an investigation by Parliament.
Mulyagonja declined to give her position on the bonus payments, stating that the institution can only do so if a fully-fledged investigation has been initiated by the IGG’s office.
“There must be facts that the IGG has established to give a position. The IGG is prohibited from announcing herself on a matter unless she has heard from all parties so I can’t render an opinion on a committee probe. But maybe after the committee is done with its probe, we can be allowed to conduct another probe,” Mulyagonja stated
Earlier, the Auditor General, John Muwanga also appeared before the committee.
Muwanga revealed that he received a letter from the Minister of Finance, Matia Kasaija on October 19, 2016 requesting for a supplementary budget of Ugx 117 billion for 2015/16 financial year and sought an audit warrant.
He said the Ugx 6 billion budget was part of the supplementary request.
Asked by legislators on whether the AG’s office had conducted an audit on the Shs 6 billion, Muwanga said no pre-audit of the expenditure has been conducted yet.
He also revealed that the money was spent without receiving an audit warrant.
“The money had been spent by the time the Minister wrote to me,” the Auditor General stated.
Other officials who appeared before the committee were Bank of Uganda Governor, Emmanuel Mutebile, who was invited to give the MPs a breakdown of money so far received by government from oil related revenues.
A statement presented by BOU indicated that Uganda has so far received Ugx 2.4 trillion ($696 million) in capital gains tax and non-tax related revenue.
This also includes Ugx 10 billion related to mineral royalties, surface rentals, training fees from mineral exploration companies received through the Ministry of Energy.
However, legislators were not satisfied with the statistics and asked the central bank to reconcile its figures with the Ministry of Energy and make a more detailed report.