Why government merged, scrapped 25 agencies

Kenneth Kazibwe

Government has finally taken a bold step to scrap various agencies and authorities as well as merging others.

The Nile Post has learnt that a cabinet meeting that sat on Monday accepted that it was inevitable to reduce the number of agencies and authorities in a bid to cut government expenditure and duplication of roles.

“The move is part of continuous reforms by government are normal and part of organisational capacity assessment and systems re-engineering,” Frank Twembaze, the Minister for ICT and National Guidance said.

The Permanent Secretary Catherine Bitarakwate Musingwiire told journalists that the move to merge and also scrap some agencies and authorities had partly been made inevitable by the need to reduce the national wage bill.

“The agencies have been taking about 37% of the entire national wage bill,”Bitarakwate said.

She noted that there has been a disparity on supervision by the Ministries of the agencies and authorities hence the need to merge and move them back to their mother ministries for proper supervision.

The Process
According to Tumwebaze, an agency or authority will be retained due to a number of reasons among which include if it is a money making agency and those involved in training.

He added that the process will not be effected at one but after consideration of the law that created the agencies and authorities.

“The acts that created the various agencies will either be amended or repealed to make them fit into their mother ministries, “Tumwebaze said.

“It will take effect when their acts have been amended.”
Asked on the number of people to be affected in the new move by government through loss of job,

Tumwebaze said he was not in position to do so but said more jobs will be created

“Don’t look at how many in agency X will lose jobs without looking at how many)(jobs) will be created.

Don’t cry over those who will lose jobs in the restructuring because they can work in districts like Kaabong, Kamwenge which have human resource gaps that need to be filled,” he added.

He cited an example of executive directors of various agencies that can still work in their mother ministry as commissioners and this way no jobs will have been lost in the new move.

He noted that merging of authorities and agencies will help government liberate resources which could be used to harmonise the salary disparities in various ministries and agencies.

It is not good to have public service officials to have (varying salaries)

If you are a very good executive director in an agency we would not like to lose you, we shall take you on as a commissioner in a ministry.

Background
In July last year, President Museveni directed the Internal Security Organization to come up with a report on how much agencies are costing government and how the same can be done away with.

A report seen by the Nile Post dated November 17, 2017 indicated that government agencies like KCCA and UNRA are spending more money on fuel, foreign travel, consultancies and salaries of their employees when compared to government ministries.

The report also indicated that these agencies spend more on workshop, employ fewer people and spend a lot of money on advertisements compared to mainstream public service ministries.
Salaries

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According to the report, agencies generally spend a lot of money on salaries of the employees when compared with the main stream public services.

For instance, for financial year 2016.17, Makerere University spent Shs 128 billion on salaries, Uganda Revenue Authority (URA spent Shs 112 billion while KCCA spent Shs 98 billion.

At Shs 7 billion, The National Planning Authority spent the lowest sum on salaries amongst government agencies.

However, in mainstream public service which is dominated by ministries, the highest spender on salaries was ministry of defence which used 410 billion on salaries.

Parliament spent Shs 86 billion on salaries while the office of the prime minister spent 48 billion.
Comparatively therefore agencies spent more on salaries than government ministries.

In total, the report notes that Uganda’s entire wage bill for 2016.17 financial year was 3.36 trillion.

Of this, Shs 1.7 trillion was paid to workers in the central government (including agencies) while Shs 1.6 trillion was paid to local government workers.
Consultancies

When it comes to consultancy services, agencies outspend government ministries.
For instance, the Uganda Cancer Institute spent Shs 9.8 billion on consultancies, NITA Shs 7.8 billion and KCCA, Shs 6.8 billion.

Government parastatals like Uganda Communications Commission spent shs 6 billion on consultancies.
Below are tables showing items on which agencies and government ministries spend money.

Top 10 spenders on travel in the mainstream public service (in billion shillings)
State House – 56.1
Parliament – 21.4
Ministry of Health – 19.6
Ministry of Education -15.9
Ministry of Defence -15.7
Ministry of Water and Environment – 12.9
Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development – 11.1
Ministry of Agriculture, Animal and Fisheries -11.1
Office of the Prime Minister – 10.5
Judiciary.

Top 10 spenders on travel in agencies(in billion shillings)
Uganda National Examinations Board – 13.6
National Agricultural Research Organization -11.8
Uganda Bureau of Statistics – 9.7Uganda Revenue Authority- 5.5
Rural Electrification Agency- 4.4
Inspector General of Government- 4.2
National Citizenship and Immigration Control – 4.0
National Agricultural Advisory Services -3.4
Directorate of Public Prosecutions- 3.2
National Environmental Management Authority – 3.1
Uganda Coffee Development Agency- 2.2

Top 10 agencies spending on workshops (in billion shillings)
National Agricultural Research Organization -5.4
Uganda Bureau of Statistics -5.3
National Agricultural Advisory Services – 3.0
Uganda National Examinations Board- 2.2
National Environmental Management Organization -1.9
National Planning Authority- 1.7
National Information Technology Authority – 1.7
Kampala Capital City Authority – 1.7
Electoral Commission – 1.3
Uganda Revenue Authority- 1.2

Top 10 spending ministries on workshops (in billions)
Ministry of Health -9.0
Ministry of Agriculture,Animal and Fisheries – 7.3
Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development -6.1
Ministry of Water and Environment -5.6
Ministry of Education -5.5
Ministry of Local Government -5.1
Office of the Prime Minister – 5.1
Ministry of Public Service -3.4
Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development – 2.7
Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development -2.3

Top 10 spending ministries on fuel ( in billions)
Ministry of Defence – 33.3
Ministry of Health – 6.4
Ministry of Water and Environment -5.0
Ministry of Agriculture,Animal and Fisheries –3.9
Ministry of Finance,Planning and Economic Development -3.5
Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development -3.2
Office of the Prime Minister – 2.6
Ministry of Works and Transport- 2.4
Judiciary – 2.2
Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development 1.7

Top 10 spending agencies on fuel (in billions)
National Agricultural Research Organization -4.1
Kampala Capital City Authority -4.1
Electoral Commission -4.1
Uganda Revenue Authority- 2.7
National Citizenship and Immigration Control -1.9
Uganda Blood Transfusion Service -1.1
Directorate of Public Prosecutions- 0.9
Uganda Bureau of Statistics – 0.9
National Forestry Authority -0.9
National Planning Authority 0.9

Entities to be merged or scrapped 
Uganda National Roads Authority
Uganda Road Fund
Uganda Railways Corporation
Transport Licensing Board
Uganda Electricity Company Limited
Uganda Electricity Generation Company Limited
Uganda Electricity Distribution Company Limited
Rural Electrification Agency
Lotteries and Gaming Regulatory Board
Departed Asians Custodian Board
National Agricultural Advisory Services Organization
Uganda Trypanosomiasis Control Council
Dairy Development Authority
Uganda Coffee Development Authority
Cotton Development Organization
National Identification and Registration Authority
NGO Bureau
Uganda Aids Commission
National Drug Authority
Uganda Blood Transfusion Services
Uganda Industrial Research Institute
Uganda Land Commission
Uganda National Council for Science and Technology.

Entities to be retained 
Uganda Communications Commission
Uganda National Bureau of Standards
Kampala Capital City Authority
Uganda Bureau of Statistics
National Medical Stores

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