MPs want stiff penalties for officers who misuse public funds

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament says there should be stiff penalties for public officers who abuse public funds or fail to provide supporting documents on how funds were used.

The committee on Wednesday met the Secretary to Treasury to discuss on issues pertaining mismanaging of public funds.

After the meeting, Public Accounts Committee Chairperson Honourable Shadreck Namalomba said the committee has recommended that in the review of Public Finance Management Act there should sanctions for people that misuse public funds.

“As a cluster Committee of a Public accounts committee together with Finance and Budget we have recommended that there should be a public finance management act whereby we should begin to sanction with stiff penalties public officers that misuse resources, public officers that do not report where they are supposed to report, public officers that when they report they do not provide supporting documentation as they report. Those public officers must be sanctioned, either they should be suspended or dismissed from employment or actually they should be taken to court and in court they should be imprisoned or asked to pay a lot of millions for that action,” said Namalomba

He added that civils servants also need to be sensitized on the dangers of misusing public funds.

According to Namalomba, Parliament is looking to start using naming and shaming approach for those public officers that misuse resources because as a committee they want to make sure that people are responsible.

Simwaka

In his remarks, Secretary to Treasury Chance Simwaka said they presented the issue of misusing of public funds to Parliament because it is a shared responsibility and Parliament need to take part to make sure that there is no mismanagement of public funds.

“We indicated this issue to National Assembly and the Members of Parliament have noted that from various Audit reports that most of the recommendations are not implemented by implementing institutions and also they have requested some terms for what we are doing to address these issues.

“One of the things that we indicated to the National Assembly is that we are reviewing the act so that we strengthen oversight function on the budget implementation and also provide very clear a sanction on all those that do not comply with the requirements of the law,” said Simwaka.

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