MPs Irked By Performance of Externally Funded Projects.
The Parliamentary Committee on National Economy is running battles with ministries and other government agencies to account for the performance of loans and guarantees approved by the government.
MDAs are grappling to provide proper accountability of externally funded projects under their sectors which has left legislators concerned.
The 10th parliament alone approved 77 loans in total, amounting to 9.552bn us dollars in the space of five years between 2016-2021, and approved government loan guarantees totaling 124.79 million dollars in the same period of time. This week the house’s committee of National economy embarked on a two weeks exercise to assess the performance of loans and guarantees approved by parliament. However, the first weeks have expired with less work done as ministries and other government agencies which used the loans are grappling with accountability.
Several agencies have fallen short of financial performance details of externally funded projects. The committee has sent away several agencies over failure to provide proper accountability for the borrowed funds.
Today, John Bosco Ikojo (MP Bukedea county) the chairperson of the committee started with officials of the ministry of agriculture when they had just presented on one project of Agriculture Cluster Development Project (ACDP) amounting to USD.122m. The project was aimed at increasing farm productivity, production, and marketable volumes of selected agricultural commodities including maize beans, rice, cassava, and coffee in 12 clusters comprising 57 districts. But committee members questioned the progress flagged by the ministry.
However, the meeting was cut short after MPs complained of a lack of adequate information to explain the performance.
The story was almost the same in the afternoon when officials of the ministry of water and environment were turned away for appearing before the committee without a single minister out of the three ministers in the docket. On top of that, even the permanent secretary of the ministry who doubles as an accounting officer snubbed the meeting and delegated an assistant commissioner to account. Legislators irked the ministry for taking the committee for granted.
MPs also punched holes in the submission of the ministry of water saying it was short of concrete financial performance information to showcase the performance of the 15 projects under the water and environment sector.
Having left with only one week to assess the performance of loans and guarantees, the committee is considering seeking an extension of the exercise from the speaker after registering less progress this week