Ntungamo District local government has been left with two substantive heads of departments out of the approved 13.
Most of the work is being done by lower cadre workers who also struggle to execute tasks due to lack confidence and competence.
Top officials have left the district for better jobs with non-governmental organisations and central government. Others have died and some retired after clocking the mandatory age.
The chief administrative officer, Ms Roselline Adong, said this has created a big gap in service delivery. Some officials are being assigned more than three offices, which has resulted into underperformance and a big workload.
“Many of our workers have more than one office, we do not have heads of departments. Some employees in lower offices are now serving in acting capacities in the higher offices. But they retain their original assignments. This means they underperform,” Ms Ruhoni said on Tuesday.
The two remaining heads of departments are Dr Richard Bakamuturaki, the district health officer and Dr Benard Niwagaba, the district production officer. Mr Nuwagaba retires in February next year. The district education officer, Mr Charles Bakeine, retired last month.
The positions without substantive heads, according to the district approved staff structure, are secretary district service commission, district planner, district engineer, district natural resources officer and district community development officer, district internal auditor, district chief finance officer, district education officer, clerk to council and principal administrative secretary.
Other key positions in health, finance, engineering, education and administration are missing workers.
Ms Ruhoni said the staffing in district is at less than 40 per cent. The staffing at the district headquarters at less than 20 per cent, she said.
The district engineer position has never been filled since 2008 when the officer died. They advertised multiple times without getting a competent replacement.
Ms Ruhoni said while some positions have not been filled due to lack of competent persons, others are never advertised due to the wage bill factors.
“We are also going to advertise this financial year but shall wait for confirmation of the wage bill by the ministries of Finance and Public Service,” she said.
Some workers complained of lack of promotions.