Monday April 28 2014

Shs28 billion security gadget for Parliament raises queries

By Yasiin Mugerwa

PARLIAMENT- Officials from Parliament have denied being the originators of the Shs28 billion procurement for installation of modern security gadgets in the newly built car park for MPs and House staff.

“The security system and the costs involved were advised to us by police,” said Helen Kawesa, the Parliament spokesperson.

“They (police) told us that we need to install security gadgets in the parking and we wrote to ministry of Finance to release the money. They gave us the specifications and how much the security gadgets would cost,” she added.
The procurement became contentious recently after Ministry of Finance wrote to Parliament saying the cost of installing security gadgets was higher and asked that it’s scaled down.

Minister’s directives
In a December letter to Speaker Rebecca Kadaga, Finance minister, Maria Kiwanuka had asked the Clerk to Parliament, Ms Jane Kibirige, to negotiate with the potential contractor with a view of to scale down the costs.

She also advised that the contractor should have the capacity to start work without the down payment since the money would be released in the 2014/15 budget.
However, the minister’s letter came after the police had already signed the contract with a yet to be named Chinese firm.

Parliament is now refusing to shoulder responsibility over the procurement and want it undertaken as police procurement.

Couldn’t comment
However, police spokesperson, Mr Fred Enanga, could not give us a comment because senior bureaucrats at police with relevant information on the matter, were reported out of office for him to conduct necessary consultations on the matter.

“The position of the commission is that security issues are of classified nature, as Parliament, we cannot procure that system because we are not going to account for this money,” said Ms Kaweesa.

The Parliamentary Commission also thinks the procurement cost is high and doesn’t want it tagged to the commission’s budget.