Civil Society: Clergy Sh'd Monitor Gov't Classified Budgets


information pills geneva; font-size: small; line-height: 150%;”>The bodies demand that eminent people including religious leaders are appointed on the committee to ensure proper accountability of the monies in these secret budget expenditures.

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The call was made Sunday during a press conference by Civil Society Budget Advocacy group (CSBAG), on the Public Finance Bill, 2012 which is currently before Parliament.

Classified budget normally involves national expenditure especially on security, which has over the years been on a steady rise and attracted ceaseless supplementary funding.

The Public Finance Bill, defines classified expenditure as money appropriated in confidence for defense and national security purposes and Section 20 sub section (2) of the Bill provides that for confidentiality of the defence and national security matters, a budget for classified expenditure shall be presented as a single line item.

The civil society call comes along with a recent affirmation by Finance Permanent Secretary Keith Muhakanizi, to trim down budget supplementary to levels acceptable by law (which is 3 percent of the year’s total budget).

At yesterday’s press conference, CSBAG Coordinator Mr Julius Mukunda hinted: “In the recent past, classified expenditure has been used as a basis to misuse public funds. The current provision on the Bill is not strong enough to deter misuse of public funds through classified expenditure.”

He also expressed concern over the proposal by the Bill to have the Parliament’s committee on budget disbanded, saying it would affect THE House’s role on oversight and accountability.

The Director Programs Uganda Debt Network Julius Kapwepwe supplemented; “We are not against this kind of expenditure or saying it should be phased out but what we want is to have eminent people like religious leaders to ensure there is accountability”.

CSBAG further decried the delay by parliament to pass the Bill.

“If passed, the Bill would guide implementation of the activities in the local and national budget processes, promote public accountability and give guidance on transparent management of oil resources.”

They further recommended that oil revenues be used for recurrent expenditure such as health, education and agriculture and not to be restricted to only development expenditure as proposed in the Public Finance Bill.

The passing and implementation of the new Public Finance Bill 2012 hit a hitch as Parliament went on recess without passing it.

The proposed legislation seeks to provide for the fiscal and macroeconomic management, provide for multiyear budgeting to cater for long term projects.

The Bill provides for contingency, excess and supplementary funds. It provides for the roles of Minister of Finance, Secretary to the Treasury and accounting officers among others.


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