Parliament to Scrutinise Gov't Classified Expenditure

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medicine geneva; font-size: small; line-height: 150%;”>The Speaker, cialis 40mg who issued guidelines during this week’s sitting, said Parliament had not considered audit reports on classified accounts, although it appropriated funds towards classified programmes on an annual basis.

“The problem seems to have been as a result of the lack of clarity in the procedure of handling these audits in Parliament,” she said.

It remains unclear how government bodies especially the defence Ministry will react to Kadaga’s instructions.

The army has for a long time maintained secrecy especially over its classified expenditure on espionage, military procurements and costs on operations.

While appointing members of Parliament to scrutinise the classified expenditure is crucial in enhancing transparency, observers say such a move could lead to leakage of classified national security information.

However, there have been concerns that some defence officials hide under the cover of classified expenditure to loot public funds.

The Speaker said that the reporting mechanism of classified expenditure as provided for under the National Audit Act 2008 and the Public Finance and Accountability (Classified Expenditure) Regulations, 2003 are insufficient in enabling Parliament fulfil its oversight role.

Using her powers as provided for under the Rules of Procedure and the Constitution, the Speaker said she would constitute a Classified Expenditure Subcommittee chaired by the Chairperson of PAC and two members from the committee to receive audited accounts of classified expenditure from the Auditor General.

In addition, a staff of Parliament will be appointed by the Clerk to Parliament and vetted by an authority designated by the Minister for Security, to serve as Clerk of the committee.

She said that the subcommittee, while carrying out its functions, may interact with any person adversely mentioned in the audit report.

“In the exercise of its functions, the Rules of Procedure of Parliament shall not apply to the Classified Expenditure Subcommittee except where expressly so stated,” said Hon. Kadaga, adding, “Where there is any doubt and for any question of procedure not provided for in these guidelines, the subcommittee shall seek for guidance from the Speaker.”

According to the guidelines, proceedings of the subcommittee shall be held in a closed session, before a Report is made and submitted to the Speaker for onward transmission to the President.

Hon. Kadaga said, “The Report shall remain confidential. The subcommittee shall on direction of the Speaker, prepare and present an Annual Report to Parliament.”


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