Legislators have been urged to go beyond their role of appropriating and approving the budget and ensuring that oversight is carried out.
The call was made by the Speaker, Anita Among, in her communication to the House at the Budget reading, on Thursday, 15 June 2023 at the Kololo Ceremonial Grounds.
“Oversight is one of our roles and as we give out money today, we must do oversight on how the money we approved is disbursed. There should not be an aspect of conflicting oversight roles. The only institution mandated by the Constitution to do so is the Parliament of Uganda,” said Among.
She urged committees of Parliament to scale up their oversight role at the beginning of the new financial year on 01 July 2023 by Article 79 of the Constitution that prescribes the functions of Parliament.
The Speaker commended the Public Accounts Committees for their timely consideration of reports of the Auditor General by Articles 164 (3) and 196 of the Constitution and Section 16 of the National Audit Act, 2008.
“As Parliament, we will continue to effectively play our role of oversight, appropriation, representation, and legislation,” she added.
She, however, observed that local government financing in the national budget continues to stagnate making the budgets of local governments insufficient.
“The capacity of local authorities to raise local revenue remains dismally low. The continued roll-out of the Parish Development Model requires addressing existent challenges which this Parliament adequately echoed in its debate,” she said.
The Speaker also cited increased domestic borrowing, the continued accumulation of domestic arrears by the government, and the high unit cost of implementing public infrastructure projects.
“I, therefore, urge the Executive to work ingeniously to expand the tax and revenue base through investing public resources in productive growth areas to enable adequate financing of our national priorities,” Among said.
The Speaker made a call to accounting officers to ensure effective budget execution by plugging budget leakages, strengthening internal controls, and ensuring value for money.