By Andrew Irumba
Kampala: Members of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) have tasked the Uganda Police Force (UPF) to explain how they spent an extra Shs1 billion on top of what was approved by Parliament in the financial year 2017/2018.
According to the Auditor General’s report John Muwanga, a total of shs664.4 billion had been budgeted to cater for activities of the force, but by the end of the financial year, UPF had received a total of shs665.4 billion representing 100.15 per cent of the budget.
“I assessed risks such as inadequate release of funds and failure to undertake budget monitoring and supervision,” reads the report.
The Police team led by the Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIGP), Asan Kasingye, appeared before the Committee chaired by Hon. Nandala Mafabi (FDC, Budadiri West) to respond to queries raised by the Auditor General in his report on the institution. The meeting was held on Tuesday, 16 July 2019.
The Auditor General also highlighted an irregularly incurred amount of Shs161 billion in domestic arrears, outside the approved estimates appropriated by Parliament, noting that the growing arrears posed risks of litigation and related costs to the Force.
“The continuous existence of domestic arrears implies that the Accounting Officer has not adhered to the commitment control system of Government that is meant to stop entities from committing Government beyond the level of availed resources,” the AG said in the report.
Police Accounting Officer, Rogers Muhirwa, told MPs that money spent in excess of the UPF budget was used on credit owing to the nature of operations of the institution.
“We informed Parliament of our financial needs and also made several requests to the Finance Ministry for a supplementary budget but we were not given the required amount,” Muhirwa said.
Members were however not convinced by the Accounting Officer’s explanation.
Hon. Mpuuga Mathias (DP, Masaka Municipality) said that the Police team did not among other things give a clear response as to the destination of non-tax revenue, which presented a question of how Police accounts were being managed.
“The issue of spending on credit does not explain over expenditure because your documents do not show that the arrears were paid,” he said.
The Committee asked the Police to return with satisfactory explanations about the expenditures within two days.