OPM Investigations: UGX 6.9 billion Spent on Draft Policy on Disaster

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In short
According to the auditor general’s report, he could not isolate the details relating to the expenditure because of the absence of cash books and expenditure vouchers.

The office of the prime minister spent 6.9 million in drafting the disaster management policy, the Public Accounts Committee investigating graft in the office heard on Monday. The money was transferred from the Nowergian support for the Peace Recovery and Development-PRDP to the Disaster Management Account on June 27th, 2011. According to the auditor general’s report, he could not isolate the details relating to the expenditure because of the absence of cash books and expenditure vouchers.
 
The report notes that spending 6.9 billion for drafting a policy on disaster management was rather exaggerated. The disaster policy which was in put in place in October 2010 by the then minister for disaster preparedness Tarsis Kabwegere.  The funds for the policy were catered for in the 2008/2009 financial year budget. This afternoon, Pius Bigirimana, the permanent secretary in the Office of the Prime minister told PAC that he was not aware of the release of 6.9 billion shilling since it was made by Gustavo Bwoch, the accountant general.
 
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 Patrick Akora, the Maruzi County also the PAC lead counsel put it to Bigirimana that the money was diverted through collusion involving officials from the treasury, Prime Minister’s office and another from the ministry of finance. However, Bigirimana said that he only participated in spending five billion shillings that was in the account before the 6.9 billion was deposited.

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Alice Alaso then questioned Bigirimana whether he  lacks the capacity to monitor balances on his accounts before he spends the money. Bigirimana explained that it was cumbersome for him to keep checking the balance on the account that is why it was Kazinda’s duty to check the account. PAC Vice chairperson Paul Mwiru also questioned if Bigirimana actually spent the money on drafting a policy considering Uganda already has a disaster policy.

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The Public Accounts Committee launched investigations in the misappropriations of funds in the OPM’s office, after it emerged that over 57 billion shillings of donor funds was spent in bogus expenditures.