District Chief Administrative Officers (CAOs) and chairpersons on Tuesday grilled an official at the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development to explain why funds meant for service delivery at Local Government level are disbursed very late.
This was during a discussion on the recommendations of the Fiscal Decentralisation Architecture (FIDA), organized by Local Government Finance Commission in Kampala.
Francis Odap, the Bukwo District Chief Administrative officer complained that service delivery is hampered by the delay in disbursement of funds from the Finance Ministry on time.
“Some Institutions at the centre are making decentralisation a problem because the money meant for Local Government comes in the last two months, making it difficult for accounting officers to utilise the funds for development purposes”, he said.
He added that local government employees are paid meagre salaries making it difficult for Bukwo to get skilled Labor force; such as engineers and accountants.
Nakaseke chairman Ignatius Koomu, tasked ministry of Finance to explain where district unspent money returned to the ministry goes.
“Nakaseke District last year returned back to central government Shs 150 million, meant for pensioners, whom the district could not locate”, he said.
In the ministry’s defence, Sam Omaido, a senior economist said the district unused funds returned to the ministry go back to consolidated fund and are reported to parliament.
He added that other issues raised by CAOs are “not new”, insisting that district arrears are released in the second quarter.
As for recruitment of skilled staff, Omaido said: “This should be done when there is a budget for it”