Deputy IGG tips district officials on optimising public funds

Deputy IGG, Ms Patricia Achan Okiria and Soroti District officials inspect one of best the Usmid road projects. PHOTO | GEORGE MURON

What you need to know:

  • Soroti City Planner, Mr Andrew Iteba, acknowledged challenges faced by the city, including delayed central government fund releases, inadequate staffing for project management, and a lack of road equipment. 

The deputy Inspector General of Government (IGG), Ms Patricia Achan Okiria, has urged district officials to adopt better strategies of work to ensure the effective absorption of funds disbursed to various local administrative units.

“In circumstances where procurement processes delay, you don’t have to wait and you start paper work but it’s about technical work ahead of time. Because if money is not absorbed in time before the end of the financial year and it goes back to the central treasury then in the next release, you will receive less money,” Ms Achan said.

Ms Achan's visit to Teso focused on monitoring the Soroti district's parish development model (PDM) and project completion rates under the Uganda Support to Municipal Infrastructure Development (USMID) program in Soroti City.

During the 2019/2020 financial year, Soroti city (then a municipality) was one of 14 local government units benefiting from USMID. However, it failed to absorb 5 billion shillings out of the allocated 29 billion for construction works on five identified roads. These included Liverpool Road, Alanyu Road, Central Avenue Road, Serere Road, and Cemetery Road under the program's first phase. Unspent funds were returned to the central treasury and never reallocated to the city, impacting subsequent funding releases.

Ms Achn urged technical staff to strengthen their monitoring and oversight functions. Additionally, she emphasized the importance of community involvement in project activities. This collaboration allows both officials and beneficiaries to track progress effectively. Community engagement can also contribute to quality control by ensuring materials used meet required standards.

Soroti City Planner, Mr Andrew Iteba, acknowledged challenges faced by the city, including delayed central government fund releases, inadequate staffing for project management, and a lack of road equipment.