The Members of Parliament on the public accounts (local government) committee have raised concerns with Nansana Municipality authorities regarding the redirection of sh217m Parish Development Model (PDM) funds.
While analyzing the audit inquiries brought up by the Auditor General concerning the financial statements of Nansana Municipal Council for the fiscal year ending on June 30, 2022, the MPs discovered that although the Municipality was intended to allocate sh217m for the registration of SACCOs, an amount totaling sh32,848,782, which was meant for equipment and tools, was redirected to a revolving fund for future distribution to registered SACCOs.
Furthermore, the sh217m funds, initially provided by the Ministry of Finance to the Municipal Council’s account, were not properly directed to the designated PDM SACCO accounts.
Tandeka Festo, the Municipal town clerk and accounting officer, clarified that they had received advice from the Ministry, suggesting that a portion of the funds allocated for staff costs, equipment, and tools should be repurposed for the parish revolving fund.
Tandeka explained that the funds were duly disbursed to 13 PDM SACCOs, as instructed. However, Paulson Luttamaguzi Semakula (Nakaseke South County, DP), the deputy chairperson of the public accounts (local government) committee, raised concerns about the inconsistency with PDM guidelines, noting that PDM funds are supposed to be directly deposited into PDM SACCO accounts in commercial banks.
Philiphs Ilukol Lokwang (Napore West County, NRM), the committee’s lead council, pointed out that such actions negatively impact the execution of PDM activities.
Regarding a separate matter, during the meeting, Ibanda Rwemulikya (Ntoroko County, INDP) questioned the disbursement of salaries using incorrect pay scales and salary bands.
“Approximately 68 employees received payments based on incorrect scales, resulting in an underpayment of sh10,972,644. This underpayment not only deprives affected staff members of their rightful earnings but also affects their end-of-service benefits. Can you provide an explanation for this?” inquired Ibanda.
The accounting officer attributed the aforementioned issue to the lack of automation for incremental debts in the IPPS (Integrated Personnel and Payroll System) by the Ministry of Public Service, over which he claimed to have no control.
“Additionally, we are grappling with the challenge of insufficient staff capacity within the human resource departments to effectively track staff appointment anniversaries due to the overwhelming number of employees,” he further elucidated. This brings the summary of the committee’s concerns and the accounting officer’s responses to a close.