PUBLIC FINANCE MANAGEMENT ACT IS CASH COW FOR ITS RIGIDITY, CHANGE LAW IF YOU WANT TO SAVE MONEY-PUBLIC
Section 21 of the Public Finance Management Act explains Budget Execution by all accounting officers in Uganda. 21(2) says a vote shall not take any credit from any local company or body unless it has no unpaid domestic arrears from a debt in a previous financial year; and it has the capacity to pay for the expenditure from the approved estimates as appropriated by parliament for that financial year.
Ministry of Health had accumulated unpaid domestic arrears and international bodies demanded mandatory subscriptions which was embarrassing the country. The Auditor General reports over the years show paying domestic arrears accumulated in project certificates was a big problem.
Reports show the Ministry of health and government had to pay International fees for World Health Organization after the Ministers of health were humiliated on a number of occasions.
“Keith Muhakanizi , the Secretary to the Treasury cleared all Ministries to pay these fees according to section 21(3) which says an accounting officer shall after every three months in the format prescribed by the Secretary to the treasury on the activities of the vote and the execution of the budget of the vote”.
Parliament should be able to accept explanations than mob justice. The Ministry officials have been summoned 5 times to explain themselves but not discussing reports other than personal attacks.
Parliamentary documents show the Ministry saved billions of shillings with fleet of cars, constructed own shade to service vehicles. Its amazing to see the billions of shilling saved.
“The Ministry of Health had failed to to pay certificates running on projects because co-funding is a big issue. Everyday a project is not being implemented, the cost is transferred to the Ministry of Health/government.”.
The Funds in question were allocated to cater for projects where government had an obligation of fulfilling its counterpart funding.
These projects are Hospitals in Kayunga, Yumbe which have been refurbished, MPs in those areas can testify. Mulago hospital and Mulago women and neonatal hospitals, Pediatric hospital in Entebbe are due for commissioning.
“The Ministry saved money from accrued interests and litigation costs. Government of Uganda had committed its self through agreements and therefore as accounting officer I used idle money and other savings”.
The public and Civil society want change to the Public Finance Management Act because its so rigid on idle money that has to be returned to treasury yet government is losing billions through penalties.
The Ministry of Health has a debt of shs 50 billion shillings that must be paid or else interest will increase 3 folds.
Kayunga General Hospital, whose renovation and expansion works are nearing completion, will have additional services to offer to patients besides the existing ones.
Mr Paul Kaliba, the project supervising engineer from the Ministry of Health, said among the new additions to the facility are accident and emergency unit, physiotherapy and gym unit, private out-patient department and wards, kitchen and laundry, isolation wards, maintenance and workshop, hostels for intern doctors and quarters for nurses.
also said during an interview on Wednesday that the facility will have a
unit where youth-related health issues are addressed.
The new accident and emergency unit is expected to ease congestion at Kawolo General Hospital as it would be within easy reach for accident victims on the Kampala-Jinja, Kayunga-Mukono and Kayunga-Jinja highways for urgent care.
“Kawolo hospital has on many occasions been overwhelmed by the big numbers of accident victims. This facility would handle some of them,” one of the medical workers at Kayunga hospital said.
Kayunga Hospital is about 50 kilometres away from Kawolo hospital in Buikwe District which has also been refurbished.
Mr Kaliba said the new modern laboratories and theatres would help in disease diagnosis and treatment.
“All these additions are aimed at better service delivery,” he said.
He said about 78 per cent of the construction works are complete, six months ahead of the set timeframe.
This has brought a smile to the faces of patients since most of them had to dig deep into their pockets to pay for medical services.
Currently, Kayunga hospital only offers paediatric, maternity and HIV/Aids services.