The Ministry of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has failed to account for sh3.5b tax payers’ money.
The Permanent Secretary of ICT, Dr. Jimmy Saamanya was asked by the Parliament Public Accounts Committee to explain why he authorized payment of sh750m for renting offices on Social Security House, Jinja road in 2010 but did not occupy them.
The report by the Auditor General dated 2010-2011 showed that the money, sh3.5b, was spent but there is no clear way to show how it was actually spent. The AG’s report went on to show that sh750m was paid for rental premises for the 12 months running from August 2010 to August 2011 but instead, the ministry used the rented space for only six months.
“Why did you hurry to pay for the rent which the ministry never used for six months,” committee chairperson Paul Mwiru demanded.
The AG report also queried sh60m found on the ICT ministry’s account, but was not remitted to the consolidated fund. “If the money was not utilized by the ministry, why did you delay to remit it to the consolidated fund?” Vincent Kyamadidi asked.
The report further queried sh24m deducted from the workers, but also was not remitted to National Social Security Fund (NSSF) as the law requires.
The MPs also queried sh78m paid for electricity bills, but lacked receipts. “We suspect fraud in this transaction. You don’t have power bills, why do you pay for electricity which the ministry never consumed?” Alex Byarugaba asked.
It was also revealed that sh51m allowances paid to ministry staff lacked signatures showing accountability. The money was paid to the workers when Uganda hosted the African Union Summit in 2010.