Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Fifteen government entities failed to spend funds totaling 951 billion shillings appropriated in the current budget for the financial year 2020/2021. The funds are reported to have been unspent by December 2020.
Amos Lugoloobi, the chairman of the Budget Committee of Parliament said in a report presented to Parliament that the Uganda National Roads Authority-UNRA, Uganda Police Force and Electoral Commission account for the agencies with the biggest unspent balances.
According to the report, the EC under the management of elections programme failed to spend 180 billion Shillings, UNRA remained with 104.1 billion Shillings, the NAADS Secretariat under its Agriculture Advisory Services Programme also failed to spend 75.1 billion Shillings, while the Ministry of Defence had unspent balances totaling 67.1 billion Shillings.
In the same bracket was the Parliamentary Commission which failed to spend up to 64.11 billion Shillings, the Ministry of Local Government with 55 billion Shillings, Uganda Coffee Development Authority with 51 billion Shillings, the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) with 39.9 billion, National Medical Stores (NMS) 32.2 billion Shillings, Uganda Revenue Authority 26.19 billion Shillings, the Ministry of Health at 23.71 billion Shillings, Treasury Operations at 22.1 billion Shillings, Ministry of Education with 21.4 billion Shillings and the Judiciary with 17.35 billion Shillings.
Out of the 3.64 trillion Shillings released to these entities, only 2.69 trillion Shillings was spent leaving a balance of 951 billion. “The reasons advanced for poor absorption was mainly Covid-19 related and the lengthy procurement process,” Lugoloobi said.
Also revealed by the committee report is that by December 31, 2020, seven entities committed a virement by re-allocating funds in the budget from their planned programs. The entities that reallocated funds include the Ministry of Local Government, Ministry of Works, Ministry of Water and Environment, Judiciary, Parliamentary Commission, UNRA and National Curriculum Development Centre.
According to the Public Finance Management Act -PFMA, the Minister of Finance may upon a request by an accounting officer, vary within a vote, the amount of money allocated to the vote. However, the virement made should not be more than ten percent of the money allocated for an item or an activity of a vote, be contentious or result in a future liability for the vote or the government.
Government in the current financial year 2020/2021 appropriated a total of 45.49 trillion Shillings.