The National Planning Authority (NPA) has revealed that a number of Government agencies receive billions of dollars in donations, but these funds aren’t declared to the Treasury.
While meeting MPs on the Parliamentary Finance Committee on Monday to defend the Authority’s 2019/2020 National Budget Framework Paper (NBFP), Joseph Muvawala, the Executive Director of NPA asked Parliament to investigate these agencies, arguing that donated funds received by Government agencies are meant to be reflected in the National Development Plan and national budget for appropriation by Parliament and ensure effective budgeting.
Muvawala explained that any resource coming into Uganda are a national resource and the moment Parliament approves the National Budget Framework Paper, all monies coming to this country must finance the NBFP.
“There is what we call on budget and there is that terminology off budget which never existed before. When you get money from European Union, they do an audit, but the final audit for the budget that is still off budget it isn’t within,” Muvawala said.
He added: “But what it is creating is that while you think you are approving a Shs34 trillion budget, it is something else, it distorts the budget so the decision should be that all resources coming to institutions should be in the budget for appropriation; that Parliament should appropriate all resources; budget and off budget.”
He added that although the funds are audited by the Office of the Auditor General, they work towards distorting the budgeting process of the country.
“When you look at the policy statement format, it doesn’t allow you to report any resources outside the one approved, out policy statement wasn’t balancing at all because it was bringing in things that couldn’t conform with the budget,” he said.
His revelation left the MPs divided with some wondering how this could happen behind the back of Parliament and the Committee resolved to look into the matter.
In the 2019/2020 budget, the Authority has been allocated Shs11.164bn, an allocation that has left the Authority grappling with four unfunded priorities to a tune of Shs16.045bn.
The unfunded priorities lie in areas of feasibility studies, funding the new Authority Board members to a tune of Shs2.098bn, carrying out Africa Peer Review Mechanisms Unit as well as the Shs2.564bn needed for the Science, Technology and Innovation.