Parliament Orders Finance Ministry to Allocate Shs5BN to Fund Financial Intelligence Authority

Ugandan Finance Minister Maria Kiwanuka.
Ugandan Finance Minister Maria Kiwanuka.

The finance committee of parliament has tasked the finance, planning and economic developments ministry to allocate 5 billion shillings for funding the activities of the Financial Intelligence Authority. 

This is contained in the committee report tabled by its chair Robert Kasule Ssebunya on the floor of parliament on the ministerial policy statement and 2014/2015 financial year budget estimates.

Kasule notes that, the 100 million shillings provided for the authority in the 2014/2015 financial year budget is insufficient to operationalize the Anti-Money Laundering Act.. He said the money is also too little for the authority to start conducting surveillance on the financial sectorin order to secure all international financial transactions and ensure they comply with the act.

Kasule argued that the meager allocation of funding to the sector, demonstrates the lack of commitment on the part of the finance ministry to implement Anti-Money Laundering Act despite earlier utterances by finance minister.

Section 10 of the Budget Act 2001 requires that every bill introduced in Parliament shall be accompanied by its indicative financial implication. When the Anti-Money Laundering Bill was   read   for   the   first time in   Parliament, it was accompanied by a Certificate of Financial Implication from the Finance Ministry. The committee has also recommended the immediate termination of funding for theNon-Performing Assets Recovery Tribunal-NPART and ordered the reallocation of 250 million shillings budgeted for the tribunal to other key priority areas.

According to Kasule, government has been promising to wind up the authority for over more than five years in vain. He said as a result, the committee is constrained to recommend the approval of the proposed 250 million shillings allocated to NPART this financial year. The finance committee was adopted by parliament without debt since there general consensus at the Committee level.

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