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More than Shs200b returned to Treasury due to poor planning

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Mr Keith Muhakanizi, the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development at a recent function. He has cited poor planning as the major reason why budgeted funds are not absorbed into the economy. FILE PHOTO 

By MARTIN LUTHER OKETCH

Posted  Wednesday, July 16   2014 at  01:00

In Summary

Faulted. Accounting officers’ lack of planning and commitment blamed for unutilised monies.

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Kampala.

More than Shs214 billion was returned to the National Treasury from various government departments because it was not utilised, the Secretary to the Treasury, has said.
According to Mr Keith Muhakanizi, also the Permanent Secretary ministry of Finance, lack of planning and commitment in government ministries, departments and agencies is worsening the low absorption rate of budgeted funds which in turn is affecting budget performance and service delivery.
Addressing a news conference on Monday, during the release of funds to ministries, departments and agencies for quarter one of this financial year, Mr Muhakanizi said the accounting officers make proper work plans for the funds they ask for but lack commitment leading to poor service delivery.
“Despite releasing almost all the development funds to Local Governments (85 per cent of the approved budget) in the third quarter of the Financial Year (FY 2013/14), most of them continued to register very low absorption levels affecting service delivery,” he said.
He cited Shs70 billion refunded by the central government, Shs100 billion by the Local Government and Shs44 billion by Uganda National Roads Authority to the government consolidated account in the last financial year.
Analysis of the budget reports submitted to the ministry, indicated that some accounting officers, divert funds originally allocated to key departments for provision of critical services, to non-core activities such as allowances, workshops and seminars, among others.

Measures put in place for quality control

To ensure value for money and better service delivery in the country, the Ministry of Finance has put in place key measures for quality controls.
Key among the measures include: strengthening monitoring and supervision at the service delivery level; to ensure that government projects and programmes are implemented as planned.
The Budget Monitoring and Accountability Unit under the Ministry of Finance, has been strengthened to play a key role in monitoring government programmes.
Mr Muhakanizi said: “To strengthen our partnership with Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to enhance monitoring of government programmes. To this effect we have established a forum where the CSOs will publically present their findings,”
He said release of all funds for local government is being done by the third quarter to facilitate timely implementation of projects and avoid accumulation of unspent balances at the end of the financial year.

numbers

Shs100b
The amount of unused money that Local Government returned to the Treasury.

Shs70b
The amount of unused money that central government returned to the Treasury.

Shs44b
The amount of unused money that Uganda National Roads Authority returned to the Treasury.

imoketch@ug.nationmedia.com