According to Dr Tumukwasibwe, the focus of opposition-led accountability committees is Anti-corruption that includes misuse, diversion, embezzlement of public funds; stealing of public assets; nepotism in the recruitment of public servants and award of tenders and others.
Parliament’s Clerks Department has appealed to leaders of
different accountability committees to avoid being compromised on audit
Dr Robert Tumukwasibwe, the Assistant Director Clerks Department and Leonard
Okema, the Principal Clerk Assistant on Friday addressed Opposition MPs on the
role of parliamentary committees and parliamentary oversight respectively.
Parliament has four accountability committees, all chaired by Opposition
MPs. They include the Public Accounts Committee- PAC Central Government, Public
Accounts Committee- PAC Local Government, the Committee on Commissions,
Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises –COSASE, and the Government
Their core function is to ensure transparency and accountability in the
application of public funds and they are mandated to examine the audited
accounts of the Auditor General showing the use of funds appropriated by Parliament
to meet the public expenditure of the government.
According to Dr Tumukwasibwe, the focus of opposition-led accountability
committees is Anti-corruption that includes misuse, diversion, embezzlement of
public funds; stealing of public assets; nepotism in the recruitment of public
servants and award of tenders and others.
He also said that the focus of the four accountability committees should be on
anti-political deception through false promises made by the President, the Vice
President, the Ministers who should not make false promises to Ugandans on the
floor of the House.
However, Tumukwasibwe said that one of the key challenges is when the committee
leadership, the secretariat is compromised or bribed.
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He also emphasized that conflict of interest should be taken seriously because it
is also a form of corruption.
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Okema advised accountability committee leaders to develop a matrix for
different audit queries with matching penalties to avoid delayed decisions and
close gaps for compromise. He says that Accountability Committees should always
pass judgment based on the findings of the auditor general.
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Okema emphasized that deferral decision making by accountability committees is
an avenue for compromise.
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Mathias Mpuuga, the Leader of Opposition said that his leadership is trying to
do things differently and that for accountability committees, one of the gatekeeping
mechanisms they are adopting is regular reporting to avoid deference of urgent
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Mpuuga however noted that part of the endemic corruption is deeply rooted in
the staff of parliament and there is a need to find a mechanism for it.
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While delivering his State of the Nation Address in June 2021, President Yoweri
Museveni took issue with corruption and blamed officials in the Ministry of
Finance where he said the vice starts.
“Corruption starts at the Ministry of Finance where projects are designed
with extras; adding things that are not supposed to be there; these projects
then go to Committees of Parliament…and I want to warn the Committees, then the
Auditor-General, where there is collusion all the way,” he said.