By Frank Kamuntu
Members of Parliament under Public Accounts Committee (PAC) have grilled officials from the Ministry of Water and Environment led by the Permanent Secretary Alfred Okot Okidi to explain the diversion and use of Shillings 1.014 billion
Basing on the Auditor General’s report, PAC Chairperson Nathan Nandala Mafabi tasked the officials to explain why they carried out a mischarge of 582 million Shillings in financial year 2016/2017 and another 432 million in financial year 2017/2018.
Members of Parliament under Public Accounts Committee (PAC) have grilled officials from the Ministry of Water and Environment led by the Permanent Secretary Alfred Okot Okidi to explain the diversion and use of Shillings 1.014 billion.
According to Auditor General John Muwanga, the mischarge practice undermines the intentions of appropriating authority and leads to preparation of misleading financial statements. He says that proper authority is required as per the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) from the Secretary to Treasury and parliament.
Okidi acknowledged the mischarge of 432 million shillings in the financial year 2017/2018 saying that this majorly related to activities of data verification, monitoring and inspection of activities under different ministry activities.
Okot further apologised for the 582 million Shillings mischarge carried out in financial year 2016/2017 saying that it arose due to insufficient budget allocations on a number of budget line items.
Nandala faulted the officials for failing to implement their budget on the approved work plan and annual cashflow plan which is the basis for release of funds by the Accountant General.
Without the necessary authority from the Secretary to Treasury, Okot pleaded saying that the irregularity was committed due to circumstances beyond the Ministry’s control.
But MPs including Isingiro South MP Alex Byarugaba and Bunyole West MP James Waluswaka, Kashari North MP Wilberforce Yaguma dismissed his explanation further demanding for accountability on the activities on which money was spent and the other activities that were affected.
Nandala gave the Ministry up to Thursday September 5 2019 to provide proper accountability for the funds.