The Ministry of Public Service has been asked to engage the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development (MoFPED) to reconsider a directive of deleting public servants who missed the recent verification exercise, from the payroll.
The appeal was made by Members of Parliament (MPs) on the Committee of Public Service and Local Government while meeting the Minister of State for Public Service, Hon. Mary Mugasa, and her Permanent Secretary, Catherine Bitarakwate on Thursday, 20 July 2023.
The Finance Ministry conducted a physical validation exercise of public servants across the country, with the aim of addressing the issue of ghost workers, among others.
Bitarakwate said that the Permanent Secretary and Secretary to the Treasury (PSST), Ramathan Ggoobi wrote a letter halting recruitment and filling of vacant positions, and non-inclusion of the workers who missed the verification exercise on the payroll.
“In Financial Year 2022/2023, there were a lot of malpractices across the payroll and so we experienced a lot of wage shortfalls and a lot of supplementary. In addition to that, it is a new regime with a target of bringing clarity and budget execution discipline,” she said.
Bitarakwate added that in the last five years, they have experienced wage shortfalls shortly after the budget is released and cash limits issued.
“Ministry of Finance has been bringing them to this August House for issuance of supplementary. So the question is if we are spending over Shs7 trillion, where is it going? If we are budgeting annually, why is it, not enough, who is actually being paid?” Bitarakwate said.
She added, ‘That is why we picked on a physical head count. This was an activity with an attempt to reconcile what was in the payroll between the Ministries of Public Service and Finance and the accounting officers of all these entities, including their Human Resources and heads of planning. The figures still did not make 100 percent sense and we are expecting a full report next week’.
But the Committee Chairperson, Hon. Martin Mapenduzi said that the PSST ought to consult with Public Service before taking any action.
“We need you to prevail over the matter; there are key issues that need to be discussed,” Mapenduzi said.
The minister pledged to engage the PSST saying that some workers could have missed out with valid reasons.
“The concern on immediate deletion from payroll is serious. I will negotiate for an appeal window,” said Mugasa.