Uganda: PAC Orders Audit of Government Payroll System

Parliament — The Public Accounts Committee of Parliament has asked for an investigation into the faulty payroll payment system.

This was after the committee chaired by Soroti Woman MP Angeline Osegge discovered several anomalies during their interaction with Ministry of Public Service officials, led by the Permanent Secretary, Ms Birakwate Musingwiire, yesterday.

The lawmakers were following up concerns raised by the Auditor General (AG) in two financial years, 2015/16 and 2016/17.

The AG, Mr John Muwanga, noted in the earlier report (2016) that whereas the government in 2009 contracted two firms for the supply, installation, design and implementation and commissioning of the system at $4.4m (about Shs16.5b), it has remained faulty.

“Let us recommend a forensic audit, I would want to know who was responsible for the procurement and who did what in the whole process, if they are walking on the face of the earth they must answer,” Ms Osegge said.

The AG’s report for the year ended December 2016 indicated that “a review of employee records within the IPPS [Integrated Personnel and Payroll System]revealed major errors in the data being maintained on the system; errors existed in the category of service, age and years of employment.”

It was also established that out of 130,331 traditional civil servants on the system, a total of 28,562 were indicated as still on probation.

There were employees on the system who were reflected to have worked for 96 years, while others were aged 120 years old but still in active service.

He also raised cases where duplication had occurred and that the ministry processed 284 death gratuity files through the IPPS and forwarded them to the respective votes for subsequent payment.

Accordingly, “payrolls worth Shs4.9b were sent out to 82 votes for payment of death gratuity [but] due to a system weakness, the files were duplicated,” reads the report.

Ms Birakwate blamed the anomaly on the faulty system which she inherited two years ago.

Mr Muwanga further noted that “as a result, some votes paid the beneficiaries twice, leading to a financial loss at that level.”

At the time of writing the report (December 2016) Mr Muwanga said, the status of the overpayment was that Shs87.2m had been recovered from four people and an additional Shs1b meant for 61 beneficiaries had not been paid.

Another Shs446.9 million had been paid to 10 beneficiaries and had not been recovered yet Shs3.5 bn for 202 beneficiaries remained unknown.

Ms Birakwate presented a letter explaining her repeated calls on accounting officers to expedite the recovery of the money which had been aid in duplicate.

She blamed the anomaly on the faulty system which she inherited two years ago, and that they had already discussed the need for a forensic audit.

The Auditor General also raised a red flag on an increase in domestic arrears over the period of three years from Shs996 million in 2014/15 to Shs2.04b in 2015/16 and Shs2.4b in 2016/17.


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Publish date : 2018-11-02 11:20:04

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