Government has finalized the structural process of scrapping, downsizing and merging Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to minimize duplication and wastage of tax payer’s money.
While addressing press at Uganda Media Centre on Tuesday, Frank Tumwebaze, minister of ICT and National Guidance, said that cabinet on Monday approved recommendations and implementation plan for the rationalization of Agencies, Commissions and Authorities.
Tumwebaze said that the restructuring process that targeted 153 agencies which is now 90% complete was based on 3 perimeters; aligning, merging, returning others agencies to mainstream ministries and that government earns at saving over Shs900bn in wastage especially through the wage bill.
“Such reforms are normal because these Agencies came into existence as need for efficiency intensified. We are trying to remove those layers of administration and duplication, but whoever has been providing technical expertise will remain providing the same services in new departments that will be formed,” Tumwebaze said.
Indeed, Minister Tumwebaze admitted whereas many staff will be laid off in the new restructuring, the process will equally create several job openings across the country. The staff employment gap at Ministry of Public Service currently stands at 65%.
“For sure there are 153 agencies which have been reviewed. So you can be sure the Executive Directors and others will lose jobs but hundreds will also get more jobs elsewhere. The EDs can still work as commissioners if they want. Those EDs or other staff who can fit in those available positions that will be created can take them up. Let’s look at what is good for the country and not for a few individuals,” he said.
“Over900bn will be saved in the merger and the money will be used to create more jobs. Duplication created nugatory expenditure so the money will be used to create more jobs.”
He added that the new restructuring will also come with a salary harmonization and enhancement system that will be streamlined by ministry of Public Service.
Public Service ministry Permanent Secretary, Catherine Musingwiire revealed that government agencies have in FY 2018/19 taken Shs10.2trillion of the national budget, an expenditure that she says is suffocating government coffers with little efficiency in service delivery.
“We are merging good practices not pouring the bath water with the baby. Departments are headed by commissioners and all these are position up for grabs. In the short run, we expect to get efficiency in some obsolete agencies and post-savings by merging administrative functions because Agencies have been taking 37% of wage bill,”Musingwiire said.
Tumwebaze said that the restructuring process will take effect when legal frameworks that brought the affected agencies into place are harmonized by Parliament through amending the various Acts or repealing the acts.
According to cabinet resolution paper, the rationalization is required to (i) align the functions, structures, plans and budgets of Government Institutions based on National strategic goals and priorities for efficiency in the provision of public services (ii); to eliminate functional ambiguities, duplications and overlaps among Government Institutions; (iii) to eliminate wasteful expenditures in Agencies, Commissions and Authorities with a view to allocating those resources to other priority areas for socio-economic development of the country;(iv) to harmonize wages between employees of Agencies, Commissions and Authorities and traditional Public Service in order to improve motivation of Public Officers; and (v) to streamline the legal and institutional frameworks to ensure the retained Agencies, Commission and Authorities are well aligned and more accountable to the citizens and mainstream Government Ministries.
Below is the full list of government bodies that were merged or collapsed
1.The Insurance Regulatory Authority, Uganda Retirement Benefits Regulatory Authority and Uganda Microfinance Regulatory Authority were merged to create specialized directorates for non-bank supervision within the Bank of Uganda.
2.Trade: Uganda Investment Authority, Enterprise Uganda Foundation Limited and Uganda Free Zone Authority merged to create specialized departments under the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development.
Uganda Exports Promotion Board was collapsed into a department under the Ministry of Trade Industry and Cooperatives.
3.Tourism: Uganda Wildlife Education Centre Trust (UWECT), Uganda Tourist Board (UTB), Uganda Wildlife Authority and Uganda Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary were collapsed into specialized departments under the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities.
4.Education: National Council of Higher Education, National Curriculum Development and Directorate of Industrial Training were merged into one Council.
5.Health, Public Management and Agriculture: National Animal Genetic Resource Center and Data Bank (NAGRIC) and National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO) have been merged under Policy and Administration. Separate departments however will be created to handle specialized areas. Uganda Cancer Institute and Uganda Heart Institute have been merged and returned to Mulago Specialized Hospital as Directorates and staff Salaries duly enhanced to retain them.
Virus Research Institute, National Chemotherapeutic Research Institute and Joint Clinical Research Center have been merged under the Uganda National Health Research Organization.
Uganda Nurses and Midwifes Council, Allied Health Professional Council, Medical and Dental Practitioners Council and Pharmaceutical Society of Uganda have been merged to create one council with specialized departments to handle specialized areas.
6.Public Sector; Lands, and Accountability: National Population Council, Economic Policy and Research Centre have been merged to integrate the functions of both autonomous and Semi- autonomous planning Agencies and Boards into the National Planning Authority.
National Physical Planning and Metropolitan Physical Planning Authority have been merged into a department under the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development.
Public Service Commission, Health Service Commission, Education Service Commission, have been merged into one Public Service Commission with specialized Departments to handle Public Servants under respective specialized areas.
7.Works: Uganda National Roads Authority has been collapsed into a department under the Ministry of Works and Transport.
8.Internal Affairs: NIRA and Uganda NGO Registration Board have been merged under the ministry.
9.Energy EGCL UETCL UEDCL and REA have been merged under the ministry.
The following bodies are to be mainstreamed back to the sector ministries
1.Accountability: Non-Performing Assets Recovery Trust; Non-Performing Assets Recovery Tribunal; Departed Asians Property Custodian Board, National Lotteries Board; Uganda Energy Credit and Capitalization Company Limited; Uganda Energy Credit and Capitalization Company Limited
2.Trade: Uganda Commodities Exchange; The Uganda Warehouse Receipt System Authority
3.Justice: Amnesty Commission; National Citizenship and Immigration Control; Centre for Alternative Dispute Resolution; Uganda Registrations services Bureau;(M/J&CA)
4.Public Sector Management: National Records and Archives Agency.
5.Agriculture: National Agricultural Advisory Services; Uganda Trypanasomiasis Control Council; Diary Development Authority; Uganda Coffee Development Authority; Uganda Cotton Development Organization; Uganda Livestock Industries Limited; Uganda Seeds Limited.
6.Energy: Uganda Atomic Energy Council; Electricity Disputes Tribunal.
7.Education Students Financing Board; National Library of Uganda
8.Water & Environment: National Forestry Authority; Uganda National Meteorological Authority.
9.Health: Uganda Blood Transfusion Services, Uganda AIDS Commission.
- Lands: Uganda Land Commission
- Works: National Roads Safety Boards, Transport Licensing Boards, Uganda Road Fund