Accounts Committee Central Government on Wednesday turned away officials from Lira
Regional Referral Hospital for failure to provide accountability documents.
On Wednesday, the officials led by the Hospital Director, Dr. J.S.O Obbo
appeared before the committee for the second time to respond to audit queries
in the Auditor General's report for the financial year 2020/2021.
However, they did not have different documents to support responses to the
required by the committee are final accounts, audited project accounts
including the financial statements, and other relevant documents supporting
The absence of these key documents prompted PAC Vice Chairperson, Asuman
Basalirwa to adjourn the meeting to Thursday. He directed the officials to
produce the documents without fail.
//Cue in: “one of the…
Cue out:…of a budget.”//
Basalirwa also warned the Hospital Director that if he fails to respond to the
audit queries the committee will have his impending transfer to Mbale hospital
next month deferred until he responds to the issues raised.
//Cue in: “we have information…
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In his audit
report, Auditor General John Muwanga queried the overpayment of
pension/gratuity by Lira hospital, to a tune of 222.9 Million Shillings
following a review of the payroll data and Integrated Finance Management System
“The overpayment of pension and gratuity leads to overstatement of pension
expenditure and understatement of receivables,” says Muwanga.
In response to this query on 26th May, Dr. Obbo said that the figures indicated
were gratuity payments to rightful officers who had retired from service and
that these were paid using first call release for the first quarter since the
facility did not have enough funds during the previous financial year.
Nuwamanya, the Lira Hospital Human Resource Officer also then explained that
the money was paid to claimants who were supposed to receive payments in the
previous financial year 2019/2020. He said that the claimants were carried
forward to the financial year 2020/2021.
MPs then said that the evidence provided to the committee to justify the
payment was a letter dated 13th July 2021 by the Secretary to Treasury to all
accounting officers regarding payments for the financial year 2021/2022 and did
not apply to arrears in the previous financial years.
They demanded relevant explanations of the query and also accounting
documents in order to proceed with the hearing.
The other queries by the auditor general against Lira Hospital are the irregular
payment of 339.2 million to a contractor for works not done, 65.3 million
off-budget receipts, failure to absorb 1.5 billion shillings meant for payment
of salaries, pension, underpayment of salaries by 19 million shillings, among