The Public Accounts Committee of Parliament (Local Government) has faulted two senior personnel of Masindi District Local Government for causing financial loss of Shillings 17.5 million to the Government.
Lynus Opigo, the Principal Human Resource Officer, and the former Chief Administrative Officer, Geoffrey Nkuruziza were found culpable for negligently overpaying emoluments of some staff of Masindi by 11.4 million Shillings plus 6 million to ghosts.
They two were directed by MPs on the Committee led by the Gulu West (Bardege-Layibi Division MP, Martin Mapenduzi to refund the money. They had appeared before the Committee on Wednesday to answer queries raised by the Auditor General in the Financial Year 2020/2021.
Wakiso District Woman Representative, Ethel Naluyima told our reporter that during their investigations, they discovered the officers blundered and paid some staff and blamed it on the Integrated Financial Management and Information System – IFMIS.
“We are tired of seeing Local Governments suffering as a result of the system because the Ministry of Finance Planning and Economic Development is always changing systems and yet the personnel to implement the actual work are not trained,” Naluyima said.
Equally, Kumi District Woman Representative Christine Apolot was concerned that some monies disbursed to deceased staff must be recovered on grounds that the officers did not take due diligence to verify their existence.
Meanwhile, Phionah Sanyu, the Masindi Chief Administrative Officer – CAO admitted to the Auditor General’s findings and recommendation relating to the inconsistencies in their payroll. “Ideally, Heads of Departments are required to verify staff eligible for payment of salary on a monthly basis.” Sanyu told the MPs.
The Committee Chairperson later handed Opigo and Nkuruziza over to the Criminal Intelligence Investigations Department – CIID at Parliament for more interrogation before they were released on police bond.