National Medical Stores (NMS) has spoken out on MPs’ concerns that the institution is not using the Integrated Financial Management System (IFMIS), saying this situation was partly caused by strict engagement conditions set by their donor partners.
NMS’ partners such as like USAID, GAVI and Global Fund contract and pay the entity for storage, delivery and distribution of the essential medicines and vaccines donated to the people of Uganda.
Such donors were, because of the past experiences such as the Global Fund scandal, reluctant to deposit their tax payers’ money via the Consolidated Fund and remained apprehensive of potential accountability inconsistencies in case they didn’t deal with NMS directly as the service provider.
Lawmakers this Thursday afternoon said this could lead to abuse of public funds.
Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chairperson Nandala Mafabi said NMS should be held to account for delaying to subscribe to the financial system used by other government institutions.
MPs also observed that donor support funds should be appropriated by Parliament for accountability.
However, State Minister of Finance Hon David Bahati said an amendment to existing laws is being prepared to provide for this requirement.
He explained that it’s not only NMS but several other institutions receiving tight conditions from donors.
NMS procures, stores and delivers essential medicines, health supplies and vaccines across Uganda.
NMS says it has generated revenue for the Government through earning service fees for the provision of medicines storage, delivery and distributions’ services on behalf of the donors.
Mafabi recently reported NMS to President Museveni, calling for an investigation into the operations of the institution over alleged corruption.
The report compiled by IGG exonerated NMS of any wrongdoing.
It indicated that donor funds were transparently captured by NMS management and the same was reflected in the entity’s budget as scrutinized and approved by the Board.
“According to the financial statements, NMS’ expenditure was in line with the approved budgets,” the IGG’s report reads in part.
The report indicates that the investigators referred to several audits routinely conducted by the Office of the Auditor General, covering both Government and donor funding, which rated NMS highly having inquired into the management of funds donors pay to NMS for warehousing, delivery and distribution of medicines and vaccines and no foul play ever being detected.
“An audit [into all that] by the OAG on the NMS accounts for the FY ended 30th June 2019 did not indicate any mismanagement of funds,” said the IGG.