In his April 15th, 2020 circular, Keith Muhakanizi, the Secretary to the Treasury, says the local governments have failed to submit their budget draft estimates, work plans and performance contracts for the 2020/2021 financial year.
The Local Government
Ministry has threatened to penalise 36 local governments for failure to meet
their budgetary requirements on time. In his April 15th, 2020
circular, Keith Muhakanizi, the Secretary to the Treasury, says the local
governments have failed to submit their budget draft estimates, work plans and
performance contracts for the 2020/2021 financial year.
He says numerous
reminders to the Accounting Officers in the affected local governments to
submit the requirements before March 23rd, 2020 didn’t yield
results. Although Muhakanizi extended the deadline of submitting the documents
to Monday 20th April, some of the districts failed to make it, which he says is
likely to delay the national budget planning processes.
Now, the Local
Government’s State Minister, Jenipher Kacha Namuyangu, says the Ministry is
going to invoke its statutory powers to penalise local governments that have
failed to comply with the budgetary requirements on time.
She says the
ministry guided local governments on how to lay their respective budget drafts during
the lock down, saying that they don’t expect anybody to use it as an excuse to
justify their failures.
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Sections 123 and 124
of the Local Governments Financial and Accounting regulations mandates the
local government minister to penalise non compliant local governments and
Accounting Officers with strategic budget cuts and individual liability that
may include suspension or non-renewal of their contracts respectively.
Richard Kyabaggu, the
Kalungu LC V Chairperson whose district didn’t meet the set deadline, told URN
on phone that the delays were partly due to the new online reporting system that
is unreliable hence slowing down the process of submitting the budgets on
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Willy Lugoloobi, the Kalangala LC V chairperson argues that being an Island district;
some of their business committee members live in distant areas and couldn’t easily
converge because of the lockdown.
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The Lyantonde LC V Chairperson, Fred Muhangi, says they are going to coordinate
with the relevant authorities to rectify the challenges, which he says weren’t deliberate.