The Ministry of Local Government has told underperforming chief administrative officers (CAO) and town clerks to improve their productivity or resign before they are sacked.
“If you can’t be an accounting officer, better leave the service early or I will be forced to retire you in public interest over incompetence,” Mr Patrick Mutabwire, the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, said on Wednesday during the quarterly review meeting for all CAOs and town clerks in Mbarara District.
The ministry officials were particularly incensed by the failure or late submission of the required information from the lower local governments to the ministry for effective service delivery and accountability.
“This is very frustrating and unacceptable, to ask for information and you fail to give it in or on time. We have to change our methods of work to see that what is asked for is given on time,” said Mr John Genda Walala, the director Local Government Inspection.
He cited an example where the officials were asked to submit lists of inventories of local governments but that only 27 of them have submitted.
He added that only 50 per cent have submitted information on the General Fund Account to the Uganda Road Fund.
The Gomba District CAO, Mr Elias Byamungu, admitted that it was true a big number of CAOs and town clerks default or submit late the required information, but attributed it to lack of functional planning units and serious heads of department.
“In many places you find acting or junior officers in senior positions, who don’t know the seriousness of this information to satisfy government and public interests,” said Mr Byamungu.
He added: “So the chief administrative officer or town clerk finds it difficult to get this information on time.”