Sunday, July 25, 2010

IGG getting shs 18m could induce corruption from the Government side

It is not clear why some people are paid so much while others get so little. i don'tthink paying one person the IGG who I believe does not goto the field to investigate helps Uganda. What is important is to pay fairly because we have seen that even those who are highly paid are soetimes corrupted. It does not makesense to pay the IGG so highly when those who goto do the investigations are not happy. This could be corrupting the IGG by Government.
William Kituuka

IGG sh18m salary rise angers staff - Source:
Thursday, 22nd July, 2010
By Barbara Among
THE Inspector General of Government (IGG) has been given a 516% salary rise, sparking anger among his staff who got lower increments than they expected.
In the new salary structure seen by The New Vision, the ombudsman’s monthly pay went up six-fold, from sh2.9m to 17.85m effective this month.
The IGG’s salary is now almost at par with that of the Auditor General, John Muwanga, who earns sh18m a month.
The highest paid civil servant in Uganda has been the Chief Justice at sh5,859,000 a month.
In the new IGG salary structure approved by the inspectorate board and passed by Parliament last month, the deputy IGG salary jumped from sh2.7m to sh15m. The office of the deputy IGG is still vacant following the elevation of Raphael Baku to acting IGG.
Baku was appointed in April last year after the former IGG, Justice Faith Mwondha, refused to be vetted by Parliament before her reappointment.
The other benefits for the IGG include a chauffer-driven car, sh2m for housing, mobile phone allowance, security for both office and residence, medical cover and a top-up allowance of about sh1m.
While other staff got more than double increments, some were disgruntled that the sh3b wage bill approved this financial year should have been apportioned in a fair manner. An employee said they expected a significant increase in their basic salary and risk and professional allowances.
The employees are now questioning how the new salaries were arrived at. Although handsome increments had been proposed across the board, only the IGG and the deputy had their proposals approved by the inspectorate board without any alterations.
“The gap is so big,” said one employee.
“It needs to be addressed. It has created discontent within the inspectorate and this is likely to dent our morale,” added another.
But Baku defended the wide disparity, saying his office and that of the deputy do not only have greater responsibilities, but were also appointed on different terms.
“The gap in the increment is because the office of the IGG and his deputy is of a different category from the rest,” Baku said in a telephone interview on Wednesday.
“Their term of office is fixed, while the rest of the staff are permanent and can serve till they retire.”
The IGG and the deputy are appointed on a four-year term, renewable only once.
In various reports, the IGG has argued that the office suffers from poor salaries and wages and limited manpower to effectively investigate and prosecute corruption cases.
In an interview a fortnight ago, Baku said his office had presented a sh10b wage bill this financial year but the finance ministry reduced it to sh3b. This is what has been apportioned to the staff.
Baku said the inspectorate had a 115 staff shortfall. “We do not have enough resources to hire more staff and the turnover is high. We train investigators but we do not have the resources to retain them,” Baku said.
The IGG has in the past been critical of the wide pay disparity in the public service. In the Third National Integrity Survey done in 2008, the inspectorate disparaged the skewed public service salary structure where some officers earn over sh20m while others, within the same rank, qualification and experience, earn just sh1m or less.
“Our children go to the same schools; we buy food from the same markets; we go to similar hospitals. How do you explain the reason for this unfairness?” the report questioned.
An expert in public service remuneration says the increment should have been done in a phased manner because a five-fold increment appears outrageous.
The official also said the new salary structure poses a challenge for transferable staff, especially the Permanent Secretary, whose salary under the public scale is sh2m. The PS now earns sh5.95m.
“They should have maintained the PS salary at sh2m and paid him top-up emoluments to whatever figure they had set,” said the expert.
“A PS is a transferable officer whose salary must remain within the public service scale. He should have advised the inspectorate to term whatever was above the official scale as emoluments and not salary. This is because if he is transferred to another Government department, he will have to earn less salary yet public service regulations say you cannot vary someone’s salary to their disadvantage unless it is a demotion.”
Efforts to get a comment from the inspectorate secretary, Wasswa Bageya, were futile. He was reported to be in meetings all day.
The reason for paying hefty salaries to public officials is reportedly to insulate them from corruption. But a number of studies have ranked some of these top paid organisations among the most corrupt institutions in the country.
The IGG 2008 Integrity Survey also observed that better remuneration is not enough to curb corruption.

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