The government debt climbed to Shs 1.2 trillion in the 201314 fiscal year up from Shs 1.1 trillion in the previous year 201213, a new report by Auditor General John Muwanga has found.
According to the June 30, 2014 report, most government entities spent more than the available funds. The auditor general said the debt figures may become unmanageable “as they appear to be spiralling out of control.”
The most indebted government entities include Office of the President at Shs 11.1bn, State House (Shs 529.8bn), Office of the Prime Minister (Shs 28.6m) as well as ministries of Public Service (Shs 1.1bn), Foreign Affairs (Shs 32.3bn), and Justice and Constitutional Affairs (Shs 442.1bn).
Other ministries are of Finance (Shs 74.2bn), Internal Affairs (Shs 1.3bn), Agriculture (Shs 13.4bn), Local Government (Shs 26.4m), and Lands, which has a debt of Shs 9.7bn.
The ministry of Education has not cleared a debt of Shs 1.6bn.
Other ministries with uncleared debts include Health (Shs 10.8bn) Trade (Shs 4.3bn) Works (Shs 137.1bn) Energy (Shs 11.3bn) Gender, Labour and Social Development (Shs 4.7bn) Water (Shs 3bn), ICT (Shs 1.2bn) East African Community Affairs (Shs 3.1bn) and the Judiciary (Shs 7.8bn). Other entities in debt include Electoral Commission (Shs 8.1bn), Inspectorate of Government (Shs 66.7m), Law Reform Commission (Shs 446.8m), Uganda Human Rights Commission (Shs 10.3m), Uganda Aids Commission (Shs 231.1m), Directorate of Ethics amp Integrity (Shs 269.7m), Uganda National Roads Authority (Shs 376.6m) and Uganda Heart Institute (Shs 405.4m).
KCCA (Shs 9.8bn), ESO (Shs 3bn), Uganda Police (Shs 46.7bn), Uganda Prisons (Shs 46.5bn), Public Service Commission (Shs 73.5m), Local Government Finance Commission, and (Shs 17.5m).
During the year under review, the AG report found that contingent liabilities arising out of cases before courts of law are aomical. They rose from Shs 2.2 trillion the previous fiscal year, to Shs 4.3 trillion.
The AG also noted that unsettled court awards and compensations have continued to “accumulate over the years, rising from Shs 54bn in 2012 to Shs 164bn in July 2013 and 442bn in 2014 yet government does not seem to have an adequate budget provision for these obligations.”
He explained that for the period 2012 to 2014, only Shs 13bn was budgeted for, and the consequence of this state of affairs has led to interest payments for non-settlement amounting to Shs 60bn.
The AG said the situation in the ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs could eat into the national budget if it’s not managed.
“Something is drastically wrong because if it [debt] continues increasing at that rate, you will find that the entire national budget is needed to settle court awards in only one year. So, the question is, what is causing it, and how can it be contained and I think that is crucial because the amounts are very substantial?” the auditor general told The Observer on Monday after handing the report to Deputy Speaker of Parliament Jacob Oulanyah at his Parliamentary office.
Source : The Observer