Deputy Speaker, Jacob Oulanyah has challenged legislators to ensure that reports produced by the Auditor General create the desired impact and benefits for all Ugandans.
Oulanyah said that this can be achieved when legislators properly understand what audit reports reveal and take appropriate action.
“In this way, audit reports play a useful role in causing the needed and necessary improvement to better the lives of citizens through improved service delivery,” said Oulanyah.
He was speaking while presiding over a sensitization workshop for MPs on the Committees on the Budget, Finance and accountability. Accountability committees are the Public Accounts Committees on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE), Central Government, Local Government, and Government Assurances.
The workshop which focused on key highlights in the Auditor General’s Report of the 2017/18 financial year, was held at Imperial Royale Hotel in Kampala on Tuesday 26 March 2019.
Oulanyah applauded the Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) for its report on the probe of Bank of Uganda (BOU) over the closure of seven banks.
“Parliament debated and passed 51 of the 53 recommendations and amended only two. In other words, it was almost adopted in total, meaning that the committee did tremendous work for the benefit of this country,” Oulanyah said.
He also noted that the Local Government Public Accounts Committee finalized all the hearings of the 2016/2017 Auditor General’s Report and tabled a report on all higher local government entities for adoption, while the Public Accounts Committee (Central Government) tabled reports from 2015/2016 as well as 2016/2017.
“If you maintain this momentum, the backlog of audit reports will soon be history. I am however aware that some value for money reports have remained as backlog. I urge you to seriously consider value for money reports because they have a bigger impact on the people,” he said.
He appreciated the Auditor General for completing and presenting the 2018 audit report to Parliament promptly.
“The ray of hope still shines in this country that there are institutions that deliver promptly. The hope that this country needs is in actions and incidences like that. Auditor general, you are doing a great job and we are happy,” Oulanyah said.
The Auditor General, Joseph Muwanga, however urged committees to devise strategies to overcome the challenge of backlogs on the value for money audit reports. He was concerned that out of the 98 value for money audit reports presented to Parliament, only 18 have been discussed so far.
“Some of the techniques to use could be to prioritize the audit reports for direct discussion with accounting officers and the rest dealt with in the best possible ways you deem appropriate,” Muwanga said.
He said that although the law requires all public entities to be audited annually and reports submitted to Parliament, the audit issues raised on the various entities audited are not of equal magnitude.
“There are also audit reports with issues which cut across all entities of government audited. Such audit reports when prioritized can help all such entities improve their operations,” he said.