Saturday, April 21, 2012


It does not make sense any more to have the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) to summon people after money has already been taken (stolen)and when in most cases this money cannot be recovered. We have borrowed enough from outside, we ought to come up with own grown measures that can curb stealing. It is not clear why there is no political will to ensure that no coin of the tax payer is spent without the involvement of the auditor general. Why are people in Government in a hurry to spend without involving the auditor general. The sensible thing to do is to ensure that before any contract is awarded, instead of the auditor general coming in after money is stolen, his office comes before. This will make it negligible work for PAC. I for one I don't need PAC, what we need is a functional auditor general's office with the capacity to do what it does two years after the transactions have taken place, so that that process is completed before the tax payer loses money. William Kituuka Kiwanuka
The Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee has summoned President Museveni to answer queries over what has been termed as his alleged involvement in the approval of documents and influence peddling to win tenders and contracts for individual companies which in return has seen Uganda lose huge sums of money. The president who has denied the privilege of the parliamentary press to cover his land mark cross examination by the Public Accounts
Deputy secretary to the Treasury, Keith Muhakanizi (left),appears before PAC
Basajjabalaba’s companies were compensated to the tune of 142 billion shillings to relinquish management of city markets. PAC PROMOTES ACCOUNTABILITY By Stephen Ssenkaaba THE Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the Parliament of Uganda is one of the most vibrant committees in the August House. The committee is gaining stature and relevance, holding officers to account for public funds and also getting the public to participate in promoting accountability. PAC was established in the aftermath of the 1995 constitution to foster accountability in public offices. “It began operating in the Sixth Parliament but gained more momentum in the Seventh Parliament under the late Ekullo Epak,”says Sebuliba Mutumba Mudduawulira, the PAC Vice Chairperson. He says PAC is one of three committees of Parliament charged with overseeing financial accountability of the public sector. The other committees are Local Government Accounts Committee and the Committee on Commissions and State Enterprises. Ssebuliba says PAC bases its work on the reports of the Auditor General. Appointed during the first sitting of parliament for a two and half year term, the committee prides in its strong composition. “PAC is a Standing Committee of Parliament consisting of 20 members designated by party whips on the basis of proportional party members in the house, taking into consideration the interest of independent members. The chairperson and his deputy are designated by the official opposition party. The clerk to parliament is the secretary to the committee,” says Ssebuliba. Since its establishment, PAC, now headed by Nathan Nandala Mafabi (Budadiri West) has stepped up accountability for public funds in the country. There is growing consciousness for proper and accountable spending of public funds,” says Ssebuliba. Today, thanks to PAC, a minister cannot simply get funds from his Permanent Secretary without proper accountability,” he notes. Laws to foster accountability have also been put in place. Among these the Audit Bill was enacted and passed by Parliament and is only awaiting presidential assent. “We are also working hard to enact the Anti-corruption Bill and Whistle Blowers Bill (this is meant to protect people who offer information on corruption.” Ssebuliba says PAC has led to public awareness of their rights and the need to report cases of corruption and poor accountability. He, however, notes that PAC is still challenged by the tremendous work and lack of cooperation from different sections of Parliament, the Government and the public. The committee evaluates the effectiveness and economic value of Government projects and programmes. It assesses the consistency of budget outlays in relation to the increasing overspending by ministries and departments and also checks acts that violate the set standards. PAC pays special attention to allegations of fraud and misuse of money drawn on the consolidated fund. The committee uses audit reports tabled in Parliament after which they examine the accounting officers concerned, before reporting back to Parliament. Hearings are normally open and the public is invited to testify. The committee reports twice to Parliament every year.

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