The Auditor General, John Muwanga
The just released December 2021 Auditor General report has given a glimpse into wastage of public expenditure, highlighting that projects worth Shs39Trn are lying idle with hopes of their completion fading away.
The Auditor General, John Muwanga recently handed over his report to Deputy Speaker Anita Among.
A scrutiny into the report observed that in the sample of 371 projects, there are 342 projects (92.2%) with budgets totaling to Shs39.011Trn and only 40% of the projects are still on course.
Muwanga further noted that some of the sampled projects had gone past their planned exit periods, with reports dating back as 2010 and that some projects have been extended for more than 12 years, yet they continue to receive approval for continued execution.
According to the auditors, the delays in project execution was attributed to lack of adequate planning and readiness, delays in procurements, late acquisition of right of way, poor contract management and inadequate capacity to implement and evaluate ongoing projects, and unauthorized change in the scope.
“This has caused delays in the completion of key projects, cost overruns and high commitment fees on foreign debt on account of low absorption and failure to complete projects on time,” noted Muwanga.
The Ministry of Finance told Auditors that it had resolved not to admit any project into the budget before completion of all required feasibility studies and delays in acquisition of right of way, Environmental and Social impact assessment, among others are fulfilled before project commencement.
The Ministry of Finance also directed that all old projects which continue to face implementation challenges either be canceled and or renegotiated with the respective funders.
The Auditor General’s resolution comes at the time the Finance Ministry revealed plans to cancel 17 projects that have been lying idle for more than a decade in order to meet the requirements in the Public Investment Management Reform Strategy that requires projects to be delivered on budget and on time in order to achieve the desired goals and objectives.