Local governments are under the spotlight over irregular payments of salaries amounting to Ugx 11 billion.
The latest audit report of local governments by the Auditor General ending December 2016 revealed that the irregularities in payments stemmed from over payment, unsupported pension payments and wrongly paid salaries.
A total of Ugx 1.1 billion was irregularly paid under over payments; Ugx 9.5 billion on unsupported pension payments and Ugx 657 million on wrongly paid salaries.
Auditor General, John Muwanga, who presented the report to the Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga at Parliament on January 4, 2017, said the accounting officers attributed the irregularities to challenges encountered during decentralization of salary payments on the Integrated Financial Management System and Integrated Personnel and Payment System.
“Many of the accounting officers explained that they had initiated the process of recovering the overpaid amounts and training of staff to build capacity and address the challenges. I wait for evidence to that effect,” Muwanga stated in the report.
At least 33 local governments are quoted to have procured items worth Ugx 27.5 billion without following public procurement regulations and guidelines.
Out of this, Ugx 1.3 billion lacked procurement files; Ugx 21.2 billion where there was breach of procurement procedures; Ugx 4.6 billion involving inadequate contract management and Ugx 315 million from unauthorized contract variations.
About Ugx 3.8 billion was identified as funds unaccounted for by the local governments.
“I could not confirm that the funds were utilized for the intended purposes. The delayed submission of accountability may also lead to falsification of documents resulting into loss of funds.
On under collection of local revenue, 161 councils registered a shortfall in collection of revenue amounting to Ugx 17.1 billion, majorly attributed to failure to carry out revenue enumeration and assessments, non-enforcement of contracts with private revenue collectors, under-staffing and incomplete revenue records.