Members of Parliament on the Committee on Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) have come out again to demand that government facilitates national teams to enable them participate in national and international events.
The committee also noted discrepancies in coordination between the National Council of Sports (NCS) and Ministry of Education and Sports, which they say has affected facilitation of teams like the Uganda Cranes among others.
“In terms of accountability, there are problems because of lack of coordination between NCS and the Ministry. There is no communication at all,” said Hon. David Abala (NRM, Ngora County).
Ministry officials led by the Sports State Minister, Hon. Charles Bakkabulindi along with officials from National Council of Sports, were meeting the MPs on the Committee to clear the air on money appropriated to national sports teams.
Committee Vice Chairperson, Hon. Anita Among, tasked the witnesses to explain why money in the 2015/2016 financial year meant to facilitate the Uganda Cranes did not get to the team in time for their engagements.
“The Cranes make Uganda proud but because of lack of coordination between the Ministry and National Council of Sports, there has been delayed remittance of funds which affects their performance. You must give them money in time,” Among said.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education and Sports, Alex Kakooza, however, told the legislators that money to the Federation of Uganda Football Association (FUFA) to facilitate Cranes engagements, is drawn from National Council of Sports quarterly.
“The process between Ministry of Finance and Bank of Uganda takes some time; so, we do not release money because there are competitions to fund, but only when we receive it,” Kakooza said.
Mbarara Municipality MP. Hon. Michael Tusiime noted a funding gap of shs431 million from the approved budget highlighted in the 2015/2016 audit query by the Auditor General. He also noted that NCS had additional sources of funding.
“The remedials accrued to National Council of Sports in that particular financial year could have substituted for this funding gap,” said Tusiime, adding that, “It would then be appropriate for us to drop the query that after all, there was no underfunding.”
The MPs tasked the NCS officials to advocate for their own funding vote, separate from the Ministry of Education and Sports, which would check on the funding gaps to the sports federations in the country.
“NCS should be mindful that much as there is creating of a vote for you, you equally have to be very disciplined in managing it for proper accountability purposes,” added Among.