The Internal Security Organisation (ISO) and Permanent Secretaries should be at the forefront in the fight against corruption, president Yoweri Museveni has said.
“ISO and Permanent Secretaries and other accounting officers at district level are the ones who should help us fight corruption because they have a countrywide network,” Museveni told the ongoing Leadership Retreat at Kyankwanzi.
“When the contractor breaches a contract by doing shoddy work, how many of you Permanent Secretaries see to it that the contractor pays back government money on top of losing the contract? Why do you use a soft stick when you have a hard one?”
Museveni was Friday reacting to a stinging presentation by the Inspector General of Government Justice Irene Mulyagonja. She pointed out most government money is lost at the procurement level and said that Internal Auditors should be empowered to do their work without the interference of accountants.
In her presentation at NALI the IGG, Justice Mulyagonja called for a strong anti-corruption tone from the top most offices in the land to support the work of anti-corruption actors. She recommended strengthening of the three pronged strategy of deterrence, prevention and education which has been found effective in fight corruption even in the poorest of countries.
“When public officers are implicated in corruption they are simply moved to other offices. If we are going to keep the bad apples in public service, how are we going to clean out corruption? We need a strong anti-corruption tone from the top most offices of the land,” Mulyagonja has said.
“There are no training institutes for investigators yet the IG is allocated a very small training budget. There is need for advanced training for investigators to deal with the very intelligent, knowledgeable and powerful suspects.”
The IGG gave examples of infrastructure projects that were adequately funded but were partially implemented by the end of the project period. The contractor of the road in Mbale Municipality abandoned work before the end of the contract, works on roads in Mbarara, Kabale and Fort Portal Municipalities were delayed, work on Loro SS in Oyam,Opit SS in Gulu,AcholiPii SS Pader,Atanga SS, Pader and Apala SS in Alebtong was incomplete despite the money released.
The Ministers suggested that Permanent Secretaries should not be involved in the appointment of the contracts committee for transparency.
The State House Comptroller Lucy Nakyobe Mbonye explained that a PS only appoints the Contracts Committee which works independently to appoint the valuation committee but the President insisted that there is no way a PS can escape accounting for shoddy work under their jurisdiction.