Members of Parliament on the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) have grilled officials from the Ministry of Public Service for returning Shs70 billion which was meant to cater for the recruitment of workers in different ministries.
In the Auditor-Generals report, it was indicated that the Public Service Commission failed to carry out all planned recruitments in Financial Years, 2016/17 and 2017/18, yet Parliament had allocated the required money.
Following the above query by Auditor General, PAC summoned the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Public Service and her team. On appearing before the committee on Wednesday, PAC chairman Nathan Nandala Mafabi inquired why the money in question was returned yet many ministries, Departments and agencies still have vacancies.
“Madam PS and your team can you explain to us why over shs70 billion was returned to the consolidated fund yet it was appropriated to cater for recruitment?” he asked.
Answering back was the PS Bitarakwate Catherine, who said that there is a graduate recruitment exercise carried out every year. Where all heads of departments are supposed to submit the number of vacancies that should be occupied however there was a delay in all the processes yet the budgetary period was over.
“The cycle of recruitment does not match the cycle of budget implementation, this is one of the major causes of delays in the recruitment exercise and hence leaving some vacancies unoccupied and that is why that money was referred to the bag of the consolidated fund,” she said.
The chairperson of the Public Service Commission Justice Ralph W. Ochan explained that there is always a delay by Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) in submitting their requests.
“That is why Service Commission fails to fill these vacancies because the MDAs failed to submit in their plans, yet every MDA has a plan on recruitment depending on how much money the Parliament has allocated to its docket, therefore it’s incumbent upon them to declare their vacancies to us and at time we have gone out of order requesting them but they don’t respond in time,” he said.
Despite their explanation, MPs did not find any satisfying reason as to why such money was return, the commission will have to appear again before PAC on another day yet to be communicated.
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