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MPs Query Foreign Affairs IGAD Summit Expenses

Members of the Public Accounts Committee of parliament today tasked officials from the Foreign Affairs ministry to explain how a total of 965 million Shillings was spent within a space of two days.
Out-going foreign affairs ministry Permanent Secretary James Mugume appearing before PAC.

Audio 4

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is tasked to explain how it spent over 900 million Shillings to facilitate a 2-day Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) summit in 2013.

Parliament's Public Accounts Committee (PAC) heard that up to 265 million Shillings was spent on fuel, 97million Shillings on car hire services, 26 million for vehicle maintenance, 7 million for car washing among other contracts.

A red flag on the contracts was first raised in the 2014/2015 audit report by the Auditor General John Muwanga on the basis that many of them were awarded in disregard of procurement procedures.

Based on the queries, Members of the Public Accounts Committee tasked officials from the Foreign Affairs ministry to explain how a total of 965 million Shillings was spent within a space of two days.

The outgoing Permanent Secretary James Mugume told the committee that these emergency procurement's came up due to directives given on short notice for the country to host the IGAD Summit after the World Bank pulled out.

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PAC lead counsel Mathias Mpuuga questioned the kind of cars which the ministry hired that needed repair in two day costing the tax payer 26 million Shillings.

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But Mugume explained that some hired cars got accidents and the ministry had to repair them before returning them to the owners. He however added that transportation for the summit was entirely handled by a committee in the Ministry of Transport.

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He further explained that the cars were taken over earlier before the conference started for security purposes.

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Committee Vice Chairperson Gerald Karuhanga directed the ministry's Principal Procurement Officer Yerusa Nyangoma to immediately avail contracts in line with the expenditures. By the closure of the committee meeting, Nyangoma had provided a contract used to hire vehicles, contract for vehicle maintenance and that of fuel.

She however could not furnish the committee with the 7million Shillings contract for car washing saying they were still searching for it.