Government disbands, merges dozens more agencies

Tuesday September 11 2018

Uganda National Roads Authority is amon

Uganda National Roads Authority is among the firms to be merged. PHOTO BY ABUBAKER LUBOWA  

By Andrew Bagala

Kampala- A Cabinet meeting chaired by President Museveni yesterday agreed to disband or merge dozens more agencies in an ongoing massive reorganisation of government and realignment of functions.

The reforms, first raised by President Museveni last year, also aim to prevent duplication of roles and wastage of public resources.

In a July 2017 letter, Mr Museveni directed Vice President Edward Ssekandi and Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda to spearhead review of government agencies that he said were a burden to taxpayers.

“Why have an agency when you have a department of government dealing with the same area of responsibility? Why have an Authority when you have department of government dealing with the same area of responsibility? Why have Boards for money-consuming units rather than money generating units?” he wrote.

Sources that attended yesterday meeting, but declined to be named because Cabinet discussions are confidential, said affected agencies will either be merged or reverted to parent ministry as a subordinate entity.

Each agency reverted to a ministry will be headed by a commissioner, another source said, while the ministry’s accounting officer will take over accountability for the absorbed unit.
Many of the affected entities are self-accounting. According to one source, the Justice Ministry is preparing an omnibus Bill to be introduced in Parliament, perhaps as early as next week, to repeal and replace laws establishing the agencies that the Cabinet decided to dissolve or merge.

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The fate of the employees remains uncertain, but top officials such as executive directors and human resources managers will be the first to lose their jobs since parent ministries will take over their duties.

We were unable to reach Mr Frank Tumwebaze, the Information minister and Government spokesman, to corroborate the specifics of the Cabinet decisions as detailed to us my multiple sources.

He earlier tweeted that “cabinet chaired by His Excellency, Yoweri Museveni, sat [yesterday] at State House, discussed and took decisions on some items including the restructuring of government agencies”.

A press briefing is planned today at Uganda Media Centre for the minister to announce the government reorganisation.

Yesterday’s decisions, according to our sources, was a culmination of three cabinet sittings on August 20, August 27 and yesterday.

The ministers did not meet on September 3, 2018 because President Museveni was away in Beijing to attend the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation summit yet he had decreed that he would personally chair Cabinet meetings on the restructuring.

The ministers in yesterday’s sitting, however, agreed not to touch Kampala Capital City Authority, Uganda Bureau of Statistics, Uganda National Bureau of Standards, Uganda Communications Commission and the National Medical Stores alongside most statutory councils.

Under the new arrangement, the National Registration Services Bureau will revert to the Justice ministry while Uganda National Roads Authority, Uganda Road Fund and Transport Licensing Board will be absorbed by their parent Works and Transport ministry.

The electricity generation, transmission and distribution and the Rural Electrification Agency are to be merged into one power outfit. The Lotteries and Gaming Regulatory Board and Departed Asians Properties Custodian Board, Cabinet agreed, should be under Finance.

The Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries ministry will absorb National Agricultural Advisory Services , Uganda Trypanosomiasis Control Council, Dairy Development Authority, Uganda Coffee Development Authority and Cotton Development Organisation.

Affected. Uganda National Roads Authority is among the firms to be merged. PHOTO BY ABUBAKER LUBOWA
This newspaper was also told that the National Identification and Registration Authority and NGO Bureau will be downgraded and placed under Internal Affairs ministry. The National Information Technology Authority-Uganda has been sent back to the parent ICT ministry.

Uganda Aids Commission, Uganda Blood Transfusion Services and Uganda Land Commission are reverting to their parent ministries.

Dissolved agencies
Uganda National Roads Authority
Uganda Road Fund
Uganda Railways Corporation
Transport Licensing Board
Uganda Registration Services Bureau
Uganda Electricity Generation Co Limited
Uganda electricity Transmission Co Limited
Uganda Electricity Distribution Co Limited
Rural Electrification Agency
Lotteries and Gaming Regulatory Board
Departed Asians Properties Custodian Board
National Agricultural Advisory Services Org
Uganda Trypanosomiasis Control Council
Dairy Development Authority
Uganda Coffee Development Authority
Cotton Development Organisation
National Identification & Reg Authority NGO Bureau
National Information Technology Authority
Uganda Aids Commission
National Drug Authority
Uganda Blood Transfusion Services
Uganda Industrial Research Institute
Uganda National Council for Scie & Tech
Uganda Land Commission

RETAINED
Kampala Capital City Authority
Uganda Communication Commission
Uganda National Bureau of Standards
Uganda Bureau of Statistics
National Medical Stores

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