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Opposition On The Spot Over Poor Performance In Parliament

Speaker Anita Among (pictured) has decried the slow pace of Accountability Committees mostly headed by the Opposition in scrutinizing audit reports, threatening to have the reports adopted by parliament without MPs’ scrutiny.

The Speaker made the threat in her communication during the plenary sitting where she expressed disappointment over the failure by the Committees to complete scrutinizing the reports, warning that if the trend doesn’t change, Parliament is likely to adopt the reports like the case was in May 2022 after a motion was passed to adopt all pending committee reports.

“We will need to invoke article 163(5) of the constitution for us to have all these reports approved and adopted by this house. Because we need the treasury memorandum to be presented in the house and we have a precedent that has been set by Nandala Mafabi (Budadiri West) when he presented a motion asking for an omnibus adoption of the reports because we had run out of time and we needed to complete the accountability cycle and that is what we are going to do for those reports not considered at committee level,” said Among.

 

The Speaker cited Public Accounts Committee –Local Government that scrutunises reports from Local Government that has 139 reports, 80 reports have been considered, 80 are outstanding and the balance of 59 reports is lying idle unsrutunised.

Public Accounts Committee-Central Government  has 121 reports, and of these, 35 have been considered, 21 are to be considered and is grappling with a balance of 86reports.

The Speaker also expressed disappointment with the Committee of Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) that has 107 reports, of which 4 have been considered one is going to be considered, and the Committee has 103 reports gathering dust.

Medard Sseggona, Chairperson Public Accounts Committee asked the Speaker not to close the door, but accord his Committee time on the order paper so as to allow his Committee present the reports that have been completed but pending final decision by Parliament.

“And this we are doing to avoid a precedent that you have alluded to. It isn’t very healthy, it is actually an indictment to us that probably we need to do more. It is something we should endeavor to avoid, it isn’t a very healthy precedent for both Parliament, the committee and the whole country,” Sseggona said.

Following the 2021 general elections, the National Unity Platform emerged as the leading Opposition Party in the 11th Parliament appointing Lubega Medard Sseggona as Chairperson and Basalirwa Asuman of JEEMA as Deputy Chairperson of Public Accounts Committee Local Government.

Joel Ssenyonyi of Nakawa West and FDC’s Akello Lucywere appointed Chairperson and Deputy of COSASE, while  Ojara Martin Mapenduzi, an Independent MP from Bardege-Layibi Division and Democratic Party’s Luttamaguzi Semakula were appointed to head Public Accounts Committee- Local Government.

The development comes at the time information indicates that the Auditor General is slated to present to Speaker the June 2022 Auditor General’s report on Thursday.

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