Anxiety as more than 100,000 civil servants ordained to miss their salaries

About 85 districts and municipalities may not be able to pay their civil servants’ salaries at the end of this month or fund other operations after the accounting officers delayed to submit their performance contracts to the Finance ministry.

Deputy Secretary to Treasury Patrick Ocailap, in a recent letter, warned accounting officers that their releases for Quarter I would not be cleared, unless they submitted their performance contracts.

Quarter 1 ends in September, just a few weeks away. This means some public servants have not received their salaries for July and are likely to miss the August pay as well.

Ocailap has also asked the local government ministry permanent secretary, Benjamin Kumumanya, to take disciplinary action against accounting officers who have not complied. Kumumanya confirmed receiving the letter.

“We take accountability issues seriously and expect all the concerned accounting officers to comply immediately. There will be serious repercussions for those who will not comply,” Kamumanya warned.

According to the Public Service Standing Orders, civil servants whose performance is found wanting; maybe reprimanded; have their ranks or seniority or salary reduced; and or may be ordered to recover the cost or part of the loss caused by their default or negligence.

Such officers can also be retired in public interest or dismissed.

Section 45 (3) of the Public Finance Management (Amendment) Act, 2015; requires that an accounting officer enters into an annual budget performance contract with the permanent secretary/ Secretary to the Treasury, which shall bind him or her to deliver on the activities in the workplan of the vote.

Local governments have been finalizing their detailed budget estimates and performance contracts for the current financial year. However, Ocailap says of the 175 local governments, only 90 accounting officers have submitted their hard copies of the Performance Contracts for this financial year for him to countersign, as required by the law.

One hundred seventy-three local governments have only submitted their soft copies. This means that about 85 accounting officers have not yet submitted their Performance Contracts’; hard copies, a reason he called for disciplinary action and the warning that the funds for these local governments will not be released. 

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Patrick Luwagga is the editorial director of cross-platform content for UGANDANZ. He works across the newsroom and with business partners to drive and develop ambitious editorial projects that include digital journalism, video, data research, polling, live events, and thought-leadership series that are supported by outside underwriting. As executive director, he is responsible for the creation of Political news section, prior to joining UGANDANZ, Patrick was the chief editor for the national weekly news magazine of Kasese Times. In that role, he covered several presidential elections, wrote and produced two television documentaries, and was a regular commentator on television and radio news programs. Patrick was born in Masaka and grew up in Kasese. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Makerere University where he was a Knight Foundation journalism fellow.