By Spy Uganda
Kampala: The minister of state for Public Service, David Karubanga, has announced the merging of government agencies, commissions, and authorities that were recommended for mergers saying the mushrooming government agencies have overstretched the capacity of government to sustain public institutions and led to disparities in salaries between their employees and traditional civil servants.
Karubanga told the press in Kampala that these resources which are wasted on several agencies could be committed to providing critical public services such as health, education, and infrastructure development among others adding that the agencies have created functional overlaps and duplication of services.
In some of the changes, the Equal Opportunities Commission will be abolished, and its services transferred to the Uganda Human Rights Commission since according to the report equal opportunities are human rights. The Uganda Investment Authority, Enterprise Uganda Foundation Limited, Uganda Exports Promotions Board, Uganda Free Zones Authority, Private Sector Foundation of Uganda, and the Privatization Unit have been merged into one entity, while the Management Training and Advisory Centre has been merged with Nakawa Vocational Training Institute.
Midwives Council, Allied Health Professional Council, Medical and Dental Practitioners Council and the population Secretariat will now be merged into one council and the Metropolitan Physical Planning Authority, town and country Planning Board and the National Planning Authority among others.
During the process of merging these agencies, Karubanga stated that government plans to prioritize the rationalization of salaries with the objective of resolving disparities in pay among civil servants.
“Implementation of the recommendations on rationalization of agencies, commissions, authorities and public expenditure is a strategy to address these ambiguities,” he said.
The scope of exercise according to Karubanga, will require a critical study and analysis of the mandates, roles and functions, workload, and structures of the 18 government ministries, offices, and the 97 agencies.
“The reform will also engage in developing a change management strategy to facilitate a smooth transition, undertaking job evaluation aimed at harmonizing pay across the service, and developing an Administrative Reform Model for government to coordinate public service reforms for the next ten years,” he said.
He noted that Shs 988 billion will be freed as a result of the implementation of the rationalization in the short term.
“The cost-saving items considered include; operational costs including rent and the development budgets. The projected cost savings are in form of freed savings due to the merger of some agencies and functions as well as mainstreaming functions of some agencies back to their line ministries,” he explained.