East Africa

Government tightens cash release after graft investigations

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KAMPALA

After investigations into the mismanagement of funds in the Office of the Prime Minister and other ministries that left dozens of officers suspended, the government has stiffened regulations on cash advance release for workshops and projects, Daily Monitor can reveal.

In the new measures, all government payments above Shs20 million in any ministries must be approved by the respective permanent secretaries and the Prime Minister must also confirm. A source in the Office of the Prime Minister, who preferred not to be named, told the Daily Monitor that the permanent secretary and under secretary must personally sign documents authorising the cash advance. “There are new guidelines on workshops, Integrated Financial Management System (IFMS), and cash advances. The guideline’s main aim is to minimise the cash officers handle,” the source said.

Investigations into government by the Criminal Investigations and Intelligence Directorate show that much of the funds are stolen in fake workshops, forged IFMS and cash advances for trips and seminars.

In the new measures on workshops, officers will draft the plan for the workshops, but the hotel services will be paid by contract. “In other words, the officers on ground will not be able to touch any money. Secondly, any money paid will be transferred electronically from the ministry account to the hotel,” the source added.

In case large sums of money is sent through IFMS, the Central Bank will not transfer the funds unless the sender and receiver have been telephoned and they have confirmed to have made the transaction.

abagala@ug.nationmedia.com

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