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URA head to be sourced within - board chairman

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Outgoing URA Commissioner General Allen Kagina addresses the media at a function in Kampala recently. PHOTO by FAISWAL KASIRYE 

By ISMAIL MUSA LADU

Posted  Thursday, August 21  2014 at  01:00

In Summary

Long serving. Outgoing Commissioner General has served for 10 years.

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Kampala.

Ms Allen Kagina, the outgoing Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) Commissioner General, will be replaced by a person from within the institution, the tax body board chairman, Mr Gerald Sendaula has said.
Speaking in an interview earlier in the week, Mr Sendaula said the board took a decision to give the Commissioner General’s job to a person within the agency after being convinced that the tax body has nurtured capable people who can take up the mantle.
He said: “We have considered the output of people outside who have run the Institution (URA) before and reached a decision that we should recruit from within rather than having somebody from outside URA.”
He continued: “Over the years, we have been training our staff both in terms of sharpening their skills and enhancing their management credentials. Most of them, especially the commissioners (at all level) have since demonstrated solid leadership abilities.
“Most of them have been acting as Commissioner Generals when the substantive head of the institution is not around and they have done a great job in that regard. And for that, the next Commissioner General will be from within the current crop of senior employees.”
The Secretary to the Treasury, Mr Keith Muhakanizi, whose ministry (Finance and Economic Planning) supervises the tax body, when contacted on Tuesday, said affairs of replacing the Commissioner General are matters that are entirely handled by the URA board.
He said it is up to the board to find the kind of replacement they want.
Recently, the board issued an in-house advert calling for the suitable candidate to apply for job of the Commissioner General of the tax body.

Responsibilities
According to the internal advert, the job holder shall be the chief executive and accounting officer of the authority and shall be responsible for setting the strategic direction, monitoring and reporting on the operations of the authority and advise government on the appropriate strategies to improve tax administration and revenue services.
The person shall also be responsible for management of funds, property and business of the authority and for the administration, organisation and control of the other officers and staff of the authority in accordance with the Uganda Revenue Authority Act and relevant laws.
That will be in addition to directly supervising commissioners and oversee operations of the entire organisation and a multi-disciplinary workforce.
In an interview with the Daily Monitor recently, Ms Kagina said she would love it if her successor comes from within the institution rather than being sourced outside URA.
She argued that there is enough talent and capability that has since been nurtured and available within the institution that could better sustain the foundation she has built than having another person from outside who will take time going through another learning curve.

PROFILE

ALLEN KAGINA
URA then. By the time she took the job ten years ago, the public perception of the tax body was at its worst. This followed a Justice Julia Ssebutinde 2004 report that unearthed one of the biggest corruption scandals in the government tax institution.
Achievements. “In the last 10 years, the revenue collections have grown from Shs1.9 trillion to Shs8 trillion while tax collections which used to support 58.7 per cent of the national Budget is now supporting 71.5 per cent of the national Budget,” Ms Kagina recollected while presenting the tax body’s performance last month in Kampala.
Duration at URA. Ms Allen Kagina has been at the helm of URA for 10 years although her involvement with URA spans for nearly two decades.

Possible successors from within Uganda Revenue Authority

Patrick Mukiibi, Commissioner Investigations
Short notes. He has risen through the ranks from the public and corporate affairs department to commissioner investigation.

Richard Kamajugo, commissioner customs
Short notes. He has persistently protected and fought for the interests of Ugandan traders doing business in the neigbouring countries.

Henry Saka, commissioner domestic taxes
Short notes. According to Ms Kagina, he is an astute negotiator and deeply knowledgeable about the institution.

Doris Okol, company secretary

Short notes. She is known for being efficient. Under her reign, URA won its biggest case—Tullow Vs URA case where more than Shs1 trillion was at stake.

iladu@ug.nationmedia.com