The Chairpersons of Parliament’s Accountability Committees (PAC) are seeking to rescind the decision of the 10th Parliament that approved all pending reports by the Auditor General without the scrutiny of Parliament.
They say whereas the decision was made in the interest of clearing case backlog to allow the 11th Parliament begin work on a fresh slit, ignoring further scrutiny would allow corruption and mismanagement in public offices to go unchecked, which has a trickledown effect on service delivery in the country.
The Chairpersons of the three Accountability committees in Parliament told the press on August 17, 2021, that the decision of 10th Parliament to close all pending audit reports moreover without scrutiny, has affected work in the 11th Parliament.
The accountability committees include PAC central government chaired by Medard Lubega Sseggona ( Busiro County East Constituency), Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) led by Joel Ssenyonyi (Nakawa West MP) and PAC local governments under Martin Ojara Mapenduzi ( MP Gulu Municipality).
The 10th Parliament on June 30, 2020 adopted a motion moved by the then Chairperson PAC Central government, Nathan Nandala Mafabi (Budadiri East MP) allowing Parliament to adopt all the reports of the Auditor-General that had not been considered by the accountability committees without scrutiny but consider generalized committee recommendations.
Sseggona revealed that, they had filed a notice of motion to the Speaker and Clerk to Parliament seeking to rescind the decision by the 10th Parliament, to allow their committees to reopen the reports of the Auditor-General for the years affected.
Rule 56 of Parliament rules of procedure provides that except with the leave of the Speaker, no motion shall be moved unless the member moving it has given written notice of the motion to the Speaker and the Clerk not less than three days previous to the sitting at which he/she intends to move the motion.
The MPs pointed out that their motion was motivated by goodwill and good faith considering the backlog and the effect of the resolution on the operations of the accountability committees.
Ssenyonyi emphasized that the mandate of the accountability committees in Parliament under the Constitution is to examine and scrutinize reports of the Auditor General on an annual basis, and therefore as they wait for the audit report by the Auditor General for Financial Year 2020/21 there was the need for the committees to look into some of the previous reports especially those of the Financial Year 2019/20.
Mapenduzi differed with the decision of the 10th Parliament to adopt all the pending reports without scrutiny which he said was not a solution to the issue of backlog.
The Chairpersons committed to ensuring that the issue of backlog becomes a matter of the past during their reign.