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No Money Was Returned to The Treasury-Wakiso CAO

According to the report by the Accountant General, Wakiso district was allocated shillings 59.3 billion for planned activities. It however received and spent shillings 53 billion and therefore returned shillings 6.2 billion to the Treasury by 30 June 2019 when the financial year closed.
Wakiso District CAO Luke Lokuda (R) with the district chairman Matia Lwanga Bwanika (C) and his deputy Betty during the disrict council meeting recently

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 The Chief Accounting Officer- CAO of Wakiso District, Luke Lokuda, has dismissed reports that the district failed to spend 6.2 billion shillings by the end of 2018/2019 financial year.  

According to the report by the Accountant General, Wakiso district was allocated shillings 59.3 billion for planned activities. It however received and spent shillings 53 billion and therefore returned shillings 6.2 billion to the Treasury by 30 June 2019 when the financial year closed.  

Wakiso returned the biggest amount of money to the Treasury among local governments that failed to spend a total of shillings 139 billion by end of the financial year. 

The unspent funds were meant for wage (shillings 4 billion) and shillings 1.2 billion for non-residential buildings in the development budget.   

Lokuda has dismissed the report, saying that the district could not have returned funds amidst budget shortfalls to pay contractors for classrooms and teachers houses among other activities. 

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Lokuda says that the ministry of finance could have captured wrong information or “failed to balance” books.   

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However, according to the Accountant General’s budget performance report for 2018/2019, Wakiso was among the local governments that failed to absorb 139.5 billion shillings.

The Public Finance Management Act, 2015 provides that all unspent balances should be sent back to the Consolidated Fund as at 30 June.    

Though Wakiso district absorbed all the funds released for its expenditure on planned activities in 2017/2018 financial year, the Auditor General noted that the local government failed to implement the budget as approved by parliament.

It received shillings 24 billion out of shillings 64.9 billion allocated, therefore a budget shortfall of 28 percent.

Amidst the shortfall, the Auditor General also noted that the district did not meet its local revenue collection target. Out of the expected total of shillings 2.2 billion, the district collected shillings 1.5 billion.

In the National Budget Framework Paper for 2019/2020, Wakiso district chairperson, Matia Lwanga Bwanika noted that by end of the first quarter, the district had spent 74 percent of the realized revenues and that under expenditure was majorly due to incomplete procurement processes in the water, production and roads and engineering departments.

The Chairperson for Parliament's Public Accounts Committee-Local Governments, Judith Franca Akello says that though Ministry of Finance tends to release funds for the last quarter late, most local governments usually return funds meant for wages, pension and gratuity because it is difficult to "fake accountability."

She blames local government workers for derailing the decentralization process which is geared towards bringing services closer to the people.

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