Prime Minister Mbabazi (R) and clockwise Chris Kassami (Secretary to Treasury), MP Peter Ogwang, PS Pius Bigirimana and interdicted accountant Kazinda. PHOTO MONTAGE
By NELSON WESONGA
Posted Friday, August 24 2012 at 01:00
Changes. Secretary to Treasury warns accounting officers against depositing large sums of money on individuals’ accounts as MPs summon Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi over reported mismanagement in his office.
Following an expose by the Daily Monitor, the Secretary to the Treasury, Mr Chris Kassami, has issued new directives to permanent secretaries enforcing stiff standing orders on the handling of public funds.
Mr Kassami wrote to all accounting officers on August 9 stating that he had “been compelled to issue these guidelines in the view of recent media reports concerning financial mismanagement in government entities”.
“I make reference to the recent reports in the media which point to a breakdown in financial management in ministries, departments and agencies…Except for salary advances which are provided for in Section 72 of the Public Finance and Accountability Regulations, 2003, and Sec. B-a 22-24 of the Public Service Standing Orders 2010, depositing large advance to individual officers accounts tantamounts to financial indiscipline and is totally unacceptable,” states the letter by Mr Kassami.
It adds: “Payment for works must follow the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets law even under emergency circumstances which are equally provided for and the thresholds that require clearance by the Solicitor General must be respected.”
Mr Kassami said: “Of major concern is the large advances being extending and deposited to individual officers’ accounts in some cases to facilitate payments for works and procurements.”
The Office of the Prime Minister is in the eye of the storm after the Daily Monitor two weeks ago reported that Shs15.6 billion, meant for public works, had been deposited on the private bank accounts of some of its officers.
In one case, an official reportedly received Shs1.63 billion on his personal account between August 2010 and April 2011, whereas over the same period another official got Shs869 million.
On Thursday Parliament’s Committee on Presidential Affairs resolved to summon the Prime Minister, Mr Amama Mbabazi, over the matter.
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The interdicted Principal Accountant in the Office of the Prime Minister, Mr Geoffrey Kazinda, who is out of prison on bail, reportedly vanished without preparing the final book of accounts for 2011/12 financial year, which ended June 30.
He has since been arraigned in court and charged with several counts of fraud.
Mr Kazinda had separately filed a petition with the Inspectorate of Government in mid-June in which he accused his permanent secretary of victimising and witch-hunting him, allegations Mr Pius Bigirimana denies.
Mr Kazinda on August 9 appeared before the Anti-Corruption Court to plead to 168 counts of several offences of financial mismanagement.
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