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Museveni Moves to Reduce Number of Government Agencies, Authorities

President Yoweri Museveni with the executive director of the Uganda National roads authority (UNRA) Allen Kagina. The president says authorities like unra should not have a board of directors

President Yoweri Museveni has grown impatient with the proliferating number of Authorities and Agencies in government and is suggesting their reduction and consolidation.

These bodies consume a lot of government resources, the president observed, yet put nothing directly in its coffers.

Museveni wants the number of government agencies and authorities managed.

He wrote on July 17th to the Ministers of Finance, Public Service, Presidency and to the National Planning Authority (NPA) expressing his discomfort with the bodies; and gave them four months to suggest him a solution.

In the letter seen by this website, Museveni gave the minister and NPA up to December 20th 2017, “to propose a plan to cabinet.”

The president wondered in the letter, how much government is spending on bodies such as UNRA, NIRA, UWA, UIA, NITA, KCCA among others.

“I want the figures,” the president stressed, adding “I want efficiency with no further delay.

The president’s demands, if followed through, could be his first major effort against an excessively bloated government, which economic experts have for years warned him about.

Museveni has often been criticized for running a government filled with unusable offices, over-splitting local governments to create more electoral constituencies and having too many advisors, all of which have pilled much pressure on the country’s meagre resources.

In the letter, President Museveni said he got hold of a report which was addressed to Prime Minister Dr Ruhakana Rugunda, which raised concerns about the rapid growth of government agencies and authorities.

“The report confirms my suspicions about these endless, unplanned and unevaluated mushrooming agencies/authorities,” he wrote.

Museveni described as a “mistake,” government’s continued “funding and overseeing such wastages of our meagre resources.”

He went on to enumerate some questions that need to be answered about the bodies.

“Why have an agency when you have a department of government dealing with the same responsibility? Why have boards for money consuming units rather than money generating units?

President Museveni’s further frustration is that these agencies and authorities which generate no revenue for government have boards of directors, also paid by government.

Boards, Museveni says, should be for money making government units such as parastatals.

He elucidated, “If the Ministries of Works and Finance want to form road construction companies that will compete for construction jobs, then it makes sense for these companies to have Boards and Management, but not a Board for a unit, whose only job is to award contracts using government money.”

President Museveni knows he is partly to blame for the multiplication of the agencies and authorities, after he started the Ugandan Revenue Authority (URA) in the early 1990s.

But he says the creation of the tax body mainly to deal with corruption in Ministry of Finance, was supposed to be an “isolated intervention and not to be proliferated.”

President Museveni now wants numerous agencies and authorities “consolidated, rationalized and downsized.”

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