IGG spends only 20% of budget to probe cases

Inspector General of Government (IGG), Ms Beti Kamya appearing before Legal committee at Parliament on April 11, 2022. PHOTO | DAVID LUBOWA

What you need to know:

  • The Inspector General of Government, Ms Beti Kamya, while appearing before Parliament’s Committee of Legal and Parliamentary Affairs on Monday, said the Inspectorate spends 80 percent of the budget on running the institution and in the end fails to carry on its mandate.

The Inspectorate of Government (IG) has attributed the slow progress in handling corruption cases to poor funding from government.

The Inspector General of Government, Ms Beti Kamya, while appearing before Parliament’s Committee of Legal and Parliamentary Affairs on Monday, said the Inspectorate spends 80 percent of the budget on running the institution and in the end fails to carry on its mandate.

“A study was done and it was established that government loses up to Shs20 trillion every year in corruption. But government does not give the IG money to do its work. Eighty percent of the budget is spent on salaries, rent, electricity, and generally running the institution,” Ms Kamya said.

She further explained that the Shs20 trillion is lost through under declaration of taxes, mismanagement of procurement processes and outright stealing of money intended for services.

“We require money to investigate, prosecute and that is what we are vouching for from the committee,” Ms Kamya said in a brief interview after the meeting.

The IG, according to the proposed Budget for the Financial Year 2022/2023, has been allocated Shs67.7 billion. Of this, Shs52.5b is under recurrent while Shs15.2b is for development.

However, according the IG Ministerial Policy Statement, there is need for recruitment of more staff in the fight against corruption, training of staff, staff medical insurance, and purchase of new vehicles among other unfunded priorities, totalling Shs24.8 billion.

Recruitment

The recruitment plan for the next Financial Year requires Shs1.7 billion to fill 39 positions, which include Inspectorate officers (30), drivers (5), personal secretaries (2), records assistants (2), an accountant and a human resource manager.

During the meeting, MPs tasked the IGG to explain how she intends to carryout the controversial lifestyle audit seamlessly, without getting into the boundaries of witch-hunt and infringing on people’s right to privacy. 

Ms Kamya explained that leaders holding public office are mandated to declare their assets as per the Leadership Code Act.

“We get a lot of this information from whistleblowers and these usually have a lot of information, at the end of the day, it ends up in court,” the IGG said. 

She, however, noted that most cases end up collapsing due to lack of sufficient evidence.

“I am a fan of the lifestyle audit, however, you need a legal framework to carry out this, so that you don’t go offside,’’ Bugweri County MP Abdu Katuntu said.

The MPs also queried what they termed as underperformance of the IG, wondering if it could be the reason why President Museveni had to institute the State House Anti-Corruption Unit.

However, Ms Kamya said: “The IG is an independent institution. It was okay for the head of State to establish the State House Anti-corruption Unit, which he can manage personally through his executive. We usually collaborate with other agencies like the Office of the Auditor General, the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) and others.”

In regard to the promised investigation about the funeral expenses of former Speaker Jacob Oulanyah, Ms Kamya said they are interested in the matter and are only waiting for the dust to settle.

“There is still much going on and the accountabilities are not yet done, you cannot start an investigation before the expenditures are settled. But we made a commitment as  the IG,” she said.