The Inspector General of Government, Ms Irene Mulyagonja, has ordered the Uganda National Examinations Board (Uneb) to conduct fresh interviews for its executive secretary, saying the earlier process was interfered with.
In a new report dated March 17, Ms Mulyagonja also accuses Uneb’s board chairperson Fagil Mandy of interfering with the recruitment of the executive secretary besides sidelining the current occupant of the office, Mr Matthew Bukenya.
Mr Bukenya, who had reached retirement age, was due to hand over office on April 17.
He, however, might have to stay longer as the IGG has asked that the process of replacing him is repeated.
Process be terminated
“It is therefore ordered that the recruitment process be terminated and all proceedings prior to the interviews as well as the interviews that were held on December 31, 2013, be nullified,” reads the report.
“The recruitment process for the new executive secretary for Uneb should be re-started, from the very beginning by drafting the person specifications for the position taking into consideration the Uneb personnel manual,” the report adds.
Ms Mulyagonja has also asked the education minister, Ms Jessica Alupo, to inform the President “to consider reviewing his decision of appointing Mr Mandy as Uneb’s chairperson.”
This advice, according to the IGG, follows a review of Mr Mandy’s past as acting commissioner in the education ministry where he was found wanting in 2001 by the Ombudsman’s office.
The IGG said in light of this, there was “a glaring mismatch of his character and competencies with the current deployment”.
According to Ms Mulyagonja, Mr Mandy not only interfered with management of Uneb by directly giving orders to the staff without going through the secretariat but also sidelined the executive secretary contrary to the lawful procedures.
“It appears that Mr Mandy’s temperament and methods of management are not suitable for the position he holds.”
“He rubs people the wrong way and could potentially cause a total breakdown of the examinations body,” Ms Mulyagonja writes in the report.
She adds: “The functions performed by Uneb demanded a lot of care and a definite audit trail, which is obviously incompatible with Mr Mandy’s style of oversight.”
“His casual approach to procurement and personalisation of sensitive tasks such as the recruitment of the executive secretary and the problems in the ICT department open him up to all sorts of suspicion.”
The report advises that if the board doubts the secretariat’s ability to recruit, it should procure an independent consulting firm to conduct the task.
IGG’s advice to Mandy
For Mr Mandy, the IGG also advises him to “educate himself about the principles of corporate governance in order to better manage board affairs and improve his relationship with members of the board”.
When Daily Monitor contacted Mr Mandy yesterday, he said he would only respond when the issues are addressed to him.
“I can’t discuss the issues in the report when it has not been addressed to me. I will respond appropriately when the person being addressed approaches me,” he said.
Ms Alupo said she was hearing about the report for the first time from us when we contacted her yesterday.
Mr John Bosco Ntangaare, who the board had picked as Mr Bukenya’s replacement after he scored 76.6 per cent ahead of seven other candidates, yesterday said he would reapply for the job if the interviews are to be conducted by an independent body. “I have not seen the report but that is life. I will reapply, especially that I have the credentials.”
1 Exonerates Mr Mandy against claims that he designed the advertisement to recruit the new executive secretary.
2 Faults the appointments committee for limiting the age of applicants to between 45 and 60, saying it was contrary to the Uneb personnel manual.
3 Blames Mr Mandy for taking away applications and using an outsider to do the shortlisting.
4 Faults Mr Mandy for forming a parallel and irregular committee outside the Uneb appointments and disciplinary committee to handle part of the recruitment.
5 Accuses Mr Mandy of bulldozing the secretariat into holding interviews in the absence of the chairperson of the appointments committee.
‘I have got that information from the media. That is news to me,’
Jessica Alupo, minister of education
‘I have not seen the report but that is life. I will reapply, especially that I have the credentials,’
Mr John Bosco Ntangaare
‘Uneb is a very important organ of the country. Things there must run up-right because it deals with the future of many people,’
Prof Lutalo Bbosa, former Uneb chair