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Finance Ministry Boss Ggoobi Orders Audit Into Gov’t Payroll After Illegal Recruitments

Ramathan Ggoobi, the Secretary to Treasury

The Ministry of Finance has ordered for an audit into Government payroll after reports emerged indicating some heads of public institutions are hiring staff without authorization from both the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Public Service.

This followed a meeting held between the Secretary to Treasury, Ramathan Ggoobi and Permanent Secretaries of Ministries, of Public Service, Education & Health as well representatives of Accounting Officers of Local Governments at the Ministry of Finance headquarters in Kampala.

According to the Ministry of Finance, the meeting intended to address the wage, pension & gratuity related issues & payroll management which has become a major topic of discussion in the country.

Ggoobi said: “It has been established that there are illegal recruitments happening without clearance from Ministry of Public Service & Ministry of Public Service which must stop. There are plans to audit the wage bill across Government and supplementary requests for wage, pension and gratuity must stop.”

Government wage bill increased from Shs5.533Trn in 2021/2022 to Shs7.433Trn in 2022/23.

The development comes at the time a report by Public Accounts Committee on the report of Auditor General 2021 on the Health Sector raised queries on the delayed deletion of staff from payroll contrary to Sec B-a (12) of the Uganda Public Service Standing Orders, 2010 which requires the payment of salary to public officers to be stopped immediately they cease rendering services to the Government under whatever circumstances, including death.

The Auditor General noted that a number of entities under the Health Sector had delayed to delete staff who had either retired, been transferred, absconded or died.

Such cases were noted in Hoima Regional Referral Hospital that was reported to have paid Shs18,438,987 to staff who could not be accounted for and similar cases were recorded at Jinja Regional Referral Hospital that paid out Shs6, 149,095 to four (4) staff who had retired.

The report also highlighted another case at Masaka Regional Referral Hospital where Shs896, 977 was paid as salaries to 2 staff who had retired.

During the investigations by Parliament, many Accounting Officers attributed the delays to transfers of some of the affected staff after the closing dates of , the IPPS and the Accounting Officer of Jinja Regional Referral Hospital explained that the transferred staff a1 the entity had to be delayed from reporting to their new stations because of the critical nature of their jobs, but could not however provide evidence to substantiate his assertions.

Medard Seggoona, Chairperson Public Accounts Committee observed that such delays are acts of negligence of duty that can cause payments for services not rendered and thus, could result in loss of funds to the Government.

“The Committee recommends that Accounting Officers, with the help of their Internal Auditors, should regularly examine the payroll to establish cases of near retirement and also ensure immediate removal of transferred, absconded or dead staff as soon as such cases occur,” said Sseggona.

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