Government given one month to merge ministries, agencies

A cross-section of Members of Parliament has given Government a 30-day ultimatum to merge its Ministries, Departments and Agencies in order to minimise duplication of work and wastage of resources.

The members, mostly from the ruling National Resistance Movement-NRM Party say that several agencies are underperforming yet they take chunks of money for their operations. The MPs are considering a private members bill in the event that government takes no action within the 30-days.

Their comments arise out of a report by the Internal Security Organization (ISO) indicating wasteful expenditure in government ministries, departments and agencies.

The report, a result of thorough investigations conducted between July and November this year recommended a merger or abolition of some state agencies on account that they were duplicating work while spending chunks of money on consultancy, travel, welfare and entertainment, fuel and workshops.

MPs led by Bukooli Central MP Solomon Sirwanyi told a Press Conference at Parliament this morning that government could save about 1.7 trillion Shillings by realigning the work of all ministries, departments and agencies. He added that agencies like Uganda National Roads Authority have become more powerful than the mother ministries.

Kole North MP Boney Okello describes as unfortunate reports that the agencies spent 352 billion Shillings travels in only one year. He says such extravagance should never be tolerated in a struggling.

Mayuge district MP Julie Mukoda says that with the declining quality of service delivery in the countryside, the government should consider allocating resources on services that will benefit the country than funding agencies whose impact can hardly be felt.

Kibuku County MP Herbert Kinobere expresses concern on the absence of coordination between the departments' and mother ministries. He is optimistic that merging the agencies will lead to better services.

In July this year, President Yoweri Museveni ordered for a review of the public service with a view of scrapping, downsizing and merging government agencies and Authorities in a move he says will deal with wastage of Uganda's meagre resources.

He argued that mushrooming government agencies were a burden to taxpayers adding that the country should only have two categories of public servants, which include policymakers and money-makers, running the few government parastatals.

His message was in a July 17 letter to the Vice President Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi, copied to Prime Minister Dr Ruhakana Rugunda, Public service minister Wilson Muruli Mukasa and Finance Minister Matia Kasaija.

They were given a deadline of December 20 to come up with a plan to Cabinet on how the proposed re-organization of the public service will work.

 

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