Earlier today, officers from the Auditor General Office (OAG) made an overview presentation of the Auditor General’s June 2018 financial year report to the Local Government Public Accounts Committee. The officers led by Musana Samuel and Najumba Annet were answering to probe questions on the Youth Livelihood Programme (YLP) and the management of programme for Amudat District Local Government. The meeting chaired by the District Woman Representative for Agago District, Hon. Akello Franca and her deputy, Hon. Olanya Gilbert, the Kilak South County legislator.
YLP is a government programme being implemented under the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development through the Local Government administration. On its performance in Amudat, officers told the committee that failure to repay in a timely manner implied that other groups were unable to access the funds.
They further noted that no review of the impact of this program was visible in the different communities in Amudat; adding that the implementation plan of the project only drives Accounting Officers to the recovery of the money, which is rolled out to respond to the existing challenge of unemployment among the youth, not the impact assessment.
The OAG officers advised the committee to probe further and get more evidence of any positive impact that has been created. They advised the committee to look into the issue of non-existent groups which cannot be traced. The OAG made a physical inspection that was carried out on two selected projects, Nakapuru Reformed Warriors Animal Trade Youth Project and Iwakai Cattle Trade Youth Project and observed that the groups couldn’t be traced. Iwakai Cattle Trade had not many any repayment at the time of the audit and the Project Coordinator explained that most of the groups were nomadic pastoralists who are always on the move and never settle in one place.
The Accounting Officer of YLP Amudat explained that the said groups existed but were located far apart and kept moving from one market to another during market days to purchase and buy livestock.
The OAG however, blamed the Accounting Officer who they claim did not ensure proper monitoring of activities for which the money was provided to the youth groups. The OAG then recommended that the Accounting Officer provide evidence of action taken so far to recover the money. They also recommended that the Accounting Office be held responsible for paying out money to groups who cannot be traced.
Hon. Gilbert Olanyah wondered why these officials had not been investigated by the police for possible prosecution. The Buhaguzi County Member of Parliament, Hon. Daniel Muhairwe was disgruntled that even when the committee travels to probe these Local Governments, the Criminal Investigation Directorate is not given enough powers or resources to complete their investigation. The chair of the committee thanked the OAG for appearing before the committee. Officers are expected to have more engagements with the members to discuss other audit findings.
The approved budget for YLP revealed that the District budgeted for approximately UGX 413 million with full amount realized in the FY 2014/2015 and the funds were disbursed to 72 youth projects.