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.