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PAC Probes Mysterious Disappearance Of Shs10bn From Finance Ministry

More government agencies continue to be hit with money related scandals.

The latest is the discovery that Shs10bn mysteriously disappeared from Finance Ministry’s Integrated Financial Management System (IFMS).

 While looking at the 2017/2018 budget performance by Ministry of Finance, MPs on the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) discovered that whereas Shs161bn left IFMS, only Shs151bn hit the account of the Ministry of Agriculture, with the whereabouts of Shs10bn remaining a mystery.

MPs learnt that Shs10bn was recorded as unspent balance and missing since its accountability cannot be traced.

The Legislators tasked Pius Wakabi, Permanent Secretary Ministry of Agriculture to explain why the institution didn’t raise an alarm when they realized that the Ministry sent less money than they claimed, with Ministry of Agriculture officials arguing that IFMS is undergoing upgrade and the matter was raised and being sorted out between Treasury and Ministry of Agriculture.

Nandala Mafabi, Chairperson PAC ordered the Ministry to sort out the issue stating, “You have to reconcile the figures and indicate at which account was the Shs10bn was wrongly deposited so that it’s collected and returned where it’s supposed to be.”

He added:  “We want you to reconcile the Shs161.57Bn with Shs151Bn and Accountant General should show us where the money went to. If we don’t see the Shs10Bn in the systems, then it will be you and Accountant General to explain.”

The Ministry of Agriculture officials had appeared before PAC to respond to queries raised in the 2017/2018 auditor general report with MPs tasking the Ministry to produce the list of the Agriculture extension workers as part of the Shs32.6Bn spent in the recruitment of 5000 extension worker.

According to the audit, the Ministry was meant to recruit 5000 extension workers to support the operation of district agriculture extension services to farmers but only 3377 extension workers were recruited. Yet still, there were no performance indicators developed for activities undertaken making it hard for auditors to assess performance of the extension workers.

Mafabi demanded the Ministry to submit lists of the recruited extension workers in all districts to examine whether there was value for money allegedly spent on this recruitment and get to know if they exist as reported by the ministry of Agriculture.

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