Igg Wants Govt Nurses, Teachers To Declare Wealth

Igg wants govt nurses, teachers to declare wealth
Appeared in The Daily Monitoron 03 Mar 2020

All civil servants from top to the lowest rank will be required to declare their wealth under the proposed amendments to the Leadership Code Act.

The Inspectorate of Government said the proposed amendment is aimed at enhancing government fight against acquisition of illicit wealth by public officials.

Low ranking officials in government, among them teachers, doctors, nurses, secretaries, guards, clerks and office attendants will be required to declare their wealth.

The director for Leadership Code Act in the IGG office, Ms Annet Twine, said arrangements have been finalised to establish the Leadership Code Tribunal to adjudicate cases of breach of law on wealth declarations.

She made the remarks at the IGG stakeholders meeting with Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development in Kampala on Friday.

The law in its current form requires specified leaders under Schedule Two of the Leadership Code Act to declare their wealth. These are political leaders from President down to sub-county under Part A while part B provides for technical officers.

“The tribunal is important in enforcement to determine penalties in cases of failure to declare wealth. The establishment of the tribunal is in final stages and the cycle of enforcement of the code would be complete,” she said.

Ms Twine said the meeting was meant to create public awareness about mandate and work because the Lands ministry is a key stakeholder in the investigation process of verifying wealth declared and ownership.

“We have got challenges with almost all the searches we lodge where the first result shows blank responses until we push further until we get the results but the delays in getting results affects the operation,” said Ms Twine, describing the Lands ministry as a critical agency in the execution of the IGG mandate against corruption.

She said there is need for a focal person and to have access to the Land Information System (LIS) to allow the IGG to easily verify the property declared by public leaders.

Ms Twine said currently, there is no official assigned to provide the IGG with information, which has hindered the inspectorate’s operations.

However, Mr Tonny Kato, a senior government valuer in the Lands ministry, said the queries raised by the IGG are operational and result from improper integration of the information system from manual to digital.

“The Land Information System (LIS) is a gradual process and any challenge is due to failure to understand each other among the government officers. The delays are sometimes beyond our control because of the human resource gap hindering the handling of the huge work,” he said.

On the issues raised at the meeting in regard to payment of search charges, Mr Kato said the fees payment is statutory under the Registration of Titles Act and the system is configured to require proof of payment. “A search costs Shs10,000, but land registrars have no powers to waive it. At policy level, there is need to harmonise operations between government agencies,” he said.

Senior Registrar of Titles Moses Ssekitto said said issues of failure of the system to provide results that sometimes stem from misspelling of names but issues of payments need to be discussed at a higher level involving the Finance ministry.

“Caveats are supposed to be paid for but the IGG has a pertinent reason which we have to push. Therefore, the Commissioner for Land Registration has to identify and exploit that window,” he added.

List of workers

Government workers required to declare wealth under current law. PART A - POLITICAL LEADERS. The President, Vice President, Speaker and Deputy Speaker, chairperson, and Vice Chairman of the National Conference under the Movement Political System, Prime Minister and deputy Prime Minister, National Political Commissar and Directors or Deputy Directors under the Movement Political System, Attorney General, Minister, Minister of State and deputy minister.

PART B - SPECIFIED OFFICERS. Judges of the Courts of Judicature, IGG and Deputy IGG, Attorney General.Chancellor or Vice Chancellor of a University, Inspector General and Deputy Inspector General of Police, Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner of Prisons, Commissioner of Immigration, Auditor General, Chairman of the Central Tender Board, Governor and Deputy Governor BoU, Managing Director, General Manager or Director General of a public body, Secretary to the Treasury, Solicitor General, Commissioner General, and Deputy Commissioner General, among others.