Thursday May 29 2014

New report calls for Uneb forensic audit



A task force commissioned to investigate allegations of incompetence, financial mismanagement, patronage and nepotism at the Uganda National Examinations Board (Uneb) has recommended a forensic audit of all departments of the examining body.

In the report, a copy of which the Daily Monitor has seen, the six-member task force faults the internal audit department in Uneb, saying it lacks capacity to execute its mandate.

According to the committee findings, none of the staff in the Uneb internal audit department subscribes to any professional associations such as the Institute of Internal Auditors and their work does not add value to the institution.

“The Board should immediately institute a comprehensive forensic investigation (not a mere audit) to establish the validity of the many flaws and inconsistencies cited in this report,” the 40-page report reads in part“…the purpose of the investigation should assist the organisation to streamline its efficiency and image in addition to bringing those culpable to book.”

The committee also recommended that the board develops a succession plan since many of the top management staff has already clocked the retirement age. “The short structure in Uneb does not readily provide for horizontal movement of staff and so this could be a source of demotivation of employees who could be eager for more challenging positions,” says the report.

The report comes just weeks after President Museveni bypassed the board and extended Uneb executive secretary Mathew Bukenya’s contract by two more years. Mr Bukenya, who is more than 80 years of age, has been at the helm of the examination body for 16 years.

Uneb spokesperson Hamis Kaheru said: “Since the authors were outsiders, the board found it important to institute its own sub-committee to analyse it and make recommendations. The committee finalised its work and the board is yet to act on the report.”

Other advice

* The board should consider the fate of staff in Business and Technical Education Department following the creation of another examining body, UBTEB.
* Critical policies and procedures, especially fraud policy and whistle-blowers policy, should be developed and implemented immediately.

* A clear policy over the recruitment and management of temporary staff, scouts and other field officers should be established.

* A comprehensive revenue audit should be done in all Uneb bank accounts to give the board assurance that monies are properly used.

* All staff confidential files should be regularly updated.
* Uneb should consider implementing an automated human resource (HR) management system to improve HR records management and access.