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PAC to start biting with a name and shame anti-corruption campaign

Gerald Karuhanga, the vice chairperson of the parliamentary accounts committee speaking at the dialogue

Uganda’s Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee is to come up come up with a “name and shame” campaign to expose public servants and government institutions that have a persisting poor corruption record.

The committee vice chairperson Gerald Karuhanga said that the list will depend on their findings as they scrutinize annual reports from the Auditor General and emerging accountability issues before the committee.

He was speaking at East Africa Anti-Corruption Dialogue at Hotel African organized by Transparency International-Uganda under the theme “Reject and report corruption your responsibility”

Karuhanga, also Ntungamo municipality member of parliament, noted that the list will also expose institutions that frustrate the anti-corruption work of parliament by ignoring its recommendations.

“Every year Ugandans are going to know the most corrupt accounting officers and their institutions. This will enable Ugandans to exert more pressure on the executive for accountability,” said Karuhanga.

In the past, accountability committees of parliament complained about other MPs mobilizing to frustrate their tough recommendations against politicians and public servants. Karuhanga noted that such MPs will be exposed in a similar manner and that the electorate will take note of them.

“We shall also expose members of parliament who try to protect corrupt officials that swindle public funds knowing the challenges that people face due to poor service delivery,”said Gerald Karuhanga.

Uganda should apply innovations from rest of East Africa

At the dialogue Uganda was urged to emulate innovations from other East African Countries to strengthen the fight against graft. According to numerous reports from Transparency International, Uganda leads in the region with high levels of corruption

The Tanzanian Prevention and combating of corruption bureau revealed successes it has recorded through setting up a forensic laboratory which has been essential in dealing with electronic fraud

The acting director research and control at the bureau Daniel John Pundu said that Uganda can make tremendous progress if it takes up such innovations.

“The forensic laboratory helps us to get clues that we use in following up on the corruption chain. We use the lab to retrieve evidence that we use in the courts of law while prosecuting suspected corrupt officials” said Pundu.

In the Parliamentary accounts committees’ report  on the 2014/15 Auditor generals’ report on the health sector, the accountability committee named the ministry of health and local government as the worst performing ministries in Uganda adding that their accounting officers must be sacked.

The committee noted that the ministry only recovered 23 million shillings from the individuals who swindled the Global fund.

The committee pinned the ministry of health for refunding in excess to Global Fund 1.3 billion shillings yet 1.8 billion shillings was refundable due to prior years’ loss of donor funds through fraud.

Karuhanga said that the committee wants that accounting officers in the ministry of health to recover the pending amounts from the individuals cited in the Auditor General’s report including payment of the 1.3 billion shillings to Global fund within three months and those involved in stealing this fund and are still in public service be retired.

The Public accounts committee (PAC) is the mother committee of the four accountability committees of parliament. It is provided for under rule Rule No.148 of the Rules of Procedure.

The others are; the committee on commissions, statutory authorities and state enterprises (COSASE), Local government accounts committee (LGAC) and the Government Assurances Committee (GAC).

PAC is mandated to examine the audited accounts showing the appropriation of the sums granted by parliament to meet the public expenditure of government.

It is chaired and deputized by members of parliament designated by the official opposition party. The current chairperson is Soroti woman member of parliament Angellina Osegge from the opposition Forum for Democratic Change(FDC).

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