Igg To Use Public To Track Leaders' Wealth

Igg to use public to track leaders' wealth
Appeared in The Daily Monitoron 14 May 2020

The Inspector General of Government has said it will be using the public to assist it to track leaders’ wealth because they were finding it difficult to trace their informal and undocumented assets.

“The IGG is implementing a new approach of engaging leaders to improve their cooperation in order to increase the compliance rate of declarations and reduce time taken to conclude verifications as well as improve quality of the verification reports. In addition, the IGG plans to engage the communities to provide information to the Inspectorate of Government about the leaders’ income, assets and liabilities,” reads part of the report released yesterday.

Justice Irene Mulyagonja, the IGG, remarked that compliance of leaders in declaring their asses had improved from 78 per cent in 2018 to 90 per cent in 2019.

However, she noted that it had become difficult to track the leaders’ informal and undocumented transactions.

The report looked at all new ministers’ assets, leaders from Finance, Health, Works and Agriculture ministries, Office of the Prime Minister and Bank of Uganda between January and June 2019.

The Leadership Code Act, 2002 provides a minimum standard of behaviour and conduct for leaders. It requires all specified leaders to declare their income, assets and liabilities to the IGG. The Code prohibits conduct that is likely to compromise the honesty, impartiality and integrity of leaders or conduct that leads to corruption in public affairs; and it imposes penalties on leaders who breach the Code.

But the report notes that lack of a Leadership Code Tribunal has made it difficult for them to enforce the law with some leaders failing to adhere to the code of conduct.

“The informal and undocumented transactions continue to make leaders’ incomes, liabilities and assets difficult to trace and verify. The delay by Government Registries and Commercial Banks to avail information delays timely completion of cases,” Mulyagonja noted.

FACTS

The data reviewed was between January and June 2019 where of the 796 cases reported, at least 27.7 per cent were from local governments.

Complaints were also highest on individuals representing 10.1 per cent of the cases recorded. They were followed by municipal and town councils at 7.3 per cent while head teachers of primary and secondary schools attracted 57 cases against them. Uganda Police took fifth position with 51 complaints against it.

According to the IGG, there is increasing “complexity and syndicate corruption leading to increased mismanagement of government resources” and their recommendations are hardly implemented by some accounting officers.

Abuse of office topped the corrupt cases the IGG investigated followed by misappropriation of funds at 12.7per cent and embezzlement taking third place at 12.6per cent. Forgeries were 82 cases amounting to 10.6 per cent of the corruption cases investigated. The IGG received 51 complaints of misappropriation, embezzlement, misuse, diversion of funds, 49 registered cases for sale, loss, exchange, diversion of project funds, and 46 where from delayed and non-payment of funds to beneficiaries. Magistrate courts had 14 cases against them. Non-compliance with project guidelines were 24. A total of 122 cases were prosecuted of which 87 were carried forward from previous period.

At least 26 high profile cases were investigated Investigators recommended recovery of Shs1.380billion which was misappropriated and 0.769billion of this was recovered.