By Spy Uganda
President Yoweri Museveni who is also the National Chairman of the National Resistance Movement (NRM) party on Friday summoned the NRM parliamentary caucus at Kololo Independence grounds to brief them about the new developments in the country. Top on the agenda was the government’s plan to rationalize its agencies and departments to save taxpayers money.
In 2018, the Ministry of Public Service released plans to re-align Government Ministries, Departments, and Agencies to address challenges of duplication of work, overlaps of mandates, conflicts, and wasteful expenditures, among others. In February 2021 cabinet approved a Road Map for the rationalization of Government Agencies, Commissions, Authorities, and Public Expenditures.
According to the report by the Ministry of Public Service which was delivered to the caucus by the state minister for Public Service; Hon. Grace Mary Mugasa; out of 157 government agencies that were reviewed under the rationalization of government agencies and public expenditure exercise of 2018, the government took a decision to retain 88 and merge, mainstream, and transfer the functions of 69 agencies.
Minister Mugasa told the caucus that the first phase of the rationalization exercise has been concluded with 53 out of the 69 government agencies harmonized and Cabinet has accordingly taken appropriate decisions for implementation. The remaining 16 agencies will be rationalized in phase two of FY 2022/23 which according to the Minister, taxpayers’ money in billions of shillings will be saved.
“The total cost savings arising from wage and non-wage expenditure for the rationalization of 53 government agencies and functions per annum will be Uganda Shillings Six Hundred and Forty-Nine Billion, Two Hundred and Two Million, One Hundred Seventy-Three Thousand, Three Hundred and Eleven (UGX. 649,202,173,311/=),” the minister said, adding that the money to be saved includes savings from expenses on wage, facilitation of governing boards and councils, contribution to NSSF, non-wage expenses, development expenditure, gratuity, and rent.
“Part of these deductions of Uganda shillings 6.287 billion will be used to cater for the costs associated with the phasing out of the position of Directors in the Public Service,” she added.
According to the NRM National Chairman H.E Yoweri Museveni, apart from research institutions, the ministry departments, and farmers’ institutions; among others, the government is seeking to retain only money-making parastatals with boards to monitor and guide their operations.
The President gave an example of the National Enterprise Corporation (NEC) – a state-owned commercial arm of the Uganda People’s Defense Force that is making money for the government.
“For instance, we have the National Enterprise Corporation (NEC). It has many businesses including road making. So, it is justified for us to have a board and management because it is a money-making body,” Museveni stressed, saying many government agencies doing almost the same work have boards that don’t do much apart from spending the money allocated to them from their mother ministries.
According to the Ministry of Public service, a situational analysis of Government Agencies in Uganda established that some Agencies were created without clear justification, others had their mandates overtaken by events, while others are pseudo-government projects which operate in a similar manner as government agencies.
The President asked NRM Members of Parliament to study the report by the Ministry of Public Service and reconvene in September to conclude on the matter.