Public Accounts Committee Central Government meets Ministry of Finance over the Auditor General’s Report 2017/18.
On the 25th February 2020, the Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Finance, Mr. Muhakanizi Keith appeared before the Public Accounts Committee Central Government chaired by Hon. Nandala Mafabi. The Committee was considering the Auditor General’s Report 2017/18 on the consolidated financial statements for the Financial Year that ended 30th June 2018. From the report, there was mischarge of expenditure of up to Uganda Shillings 369,809,626,532. Mr. Muhakanizi informed the Committee that a review of the mischarges indicates that 85% of the mischarge was under Uganda National Roads Authority as a result of insufficient funding for expenditure on roads to prevent contract penalty.
Mr. Muhakanizi also informed the Committee that the National Medical Stores (NMS) had refused to be audited by the Auditor-General. He insisted that all Government entities must be audited. Hon. Nandala said that the Committee had carried out a market survey and established that the prices of drugs and equipment quoted by NMS were four times higher than those at the open market. He pledged to share a copy of the report on the findings with the Ministry of Finance.
Mr. Muhakanizi also noted that there is an alleged fraud of 2 Billion which recently happened in Local Government and the matter is under investigation.
The Committee Members also tasked the Secretary to the Treasury to explain issues regarding the construction of Isimba dam power project noting that the loan which was secured from China to finance the construction will expire in June this year before the completion of the work. This implies that Uganda is more likely to lose a lot of money through paying interests on unutilized loan funds since the construction activities are expected to go beyond June.
Among other things, Mr. Muhakanizi was asked to justify why the country continues to obtain more loans yet the burden is on increase. The Members asked for an explanation on how the terms for the loans are agreed upon. The Permanent Secretary asked the Committee to grant him more time to provide a detailed report on the country’s status on loans.