Misuse of public funds is the leading reason service delivery is slow, ineffective and leaves tax payers unhappy. The Auditor General in his annual report for the year ended June 2016 which was handed over to the legislature represented by Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga last week points out gross anomalies in the use of allocated funds.
In the report, the AG John Muwanga noted that most of the budgeted funds were used to deliver shoddy works including non-functional equipment that didnt meet minimum standards, poorly built schools and medical centres among others.
Local governments- biggest culprits
The AG report cites local governments as the leading avenues where government funds were being misused rampantly. Top of the list were procurement contracts that are marred by corruption which led to delivery of poor or shoddy services.
Some of the listed local governments that were failing to put tax payers money to proper use included Buvuma district where substandard medical equipment was procured, Mpigi district that had underfunded universal secondary education (USE) schools hampering student studies.
The AG also noted that locally generated revenue such as market or taxi park charges were being stolen under the watch of the local council authorities who were conniving with district authorities in the fraud. Gomba district for example was listed as having collected over 279.5m from market charges but this amount was never receipted as declared by law.
Pensioners pay the price
In the report, the AG noted that many pensioners were still struggling to receive their dues from the mess created by the local governments. In January 2014, payment of pension fees was decentralised to districts.
The financial chaos at most local governments meant that many pensioners were missing their monthly gratuity out of inefficiency which had denied the old aged senior citizens their entitlements which is impacting on their livelihoods.