Parliament has ordered David Obongo, the permanent secretary of the Water and Environment ministry to refund 254 million shillings that was unaccounted for by the end of the 2013 financial year. Obongo appeared on Tuesday afternoon before the Public Accounts Finance Committee to respond to audit queries in the auditor general's report for the 2012/2013 financial year.
According to the auditor general's report 254 million shillings of the 652 million shillings appropriated for workshops and field work lacked supporting documents. Alice Alaso, the Public Accounts Committee chairperson failed Obongo for contravening the law and therefore tasked him to refund the money.
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In his defense, Obongo claimed that he had written to the different beneficiaries to refund the money without much success.
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The committee demanded for the names of all the officers who hadn't accounted for the money. Some of the officers who didn't account include Ian Ariviona , Mohammad Kazungu, Geoffrey Goka, Paul Sebatian Wilberforce Wayama and Stanley Watenga.
Margret Kiboijana, the Ibanda district woman MP challenged Obongo to prove that his attempts to guard the tax payer's money guarded apart from an ambiguous memo hurriedly issued.
Kiboijana also faulted the memo saying it was addressed to no body in particular adding that, there was no evidence that Obongo was making any effort to recover the money. The committee also tasked Obongo to ensure that Ugx 161M advanced to staff to carry out micro procurement of stationery is recovered since it was neither delivered nor verified by the internal audit
The committee also reprimanded Obongo for diverting UGx9.2 bn to cater for other things outside the budget. The MPs tasked Obongo to identify the items he spent the moneys on. In his response Obongo said the money was spent on allowances, contract salaries, consultancy, rent for meteorology center and debt clearance.
He said shillings 600 million was spent on consultancy services, contract staff 900 million, allowances 586m, transfer other gov't unit 447, printing 447, travel 360, vehicles 250, small office equipment 150, advertising 160m, commitment to other international organisations, social security contribution Ugx 67m.
The MPs faulted Obongo for not budgeting for the items and cooking up evidence. Kabakumba Masiko, the Bujenje County MP faulted the accounting officer for not respecting the standing orders, which he regretted.