STATE HOUSE IS AN EXPENSIVE HOUSE

Published by Patra K on

State house is an expensive house

An image showing the Ugandan State house . (Photo courtesy of Governement Citizen interaction centre.)

Statehouse is the place where the President of Uganda resides with his/her spouse and immediate family. The work tagged onto the presidency is done in the Office of the President. Since the statehouse is just a residence for the president, his/her spouse, and immediate family, it should ordinarily have a lean budget.

There is a sense in which Uganda’s statehouse is increasing and imposing a burden on the taxpayer. State House had a total approved budget of UGX 410 billion in the FY 2020/21 but later revised to UGX 861.339 billion. This was on account of a supplementary budget of UGX 451.091 billion. As of December 2020 FY 2020/21, UGX 723b billion was paid out.

State House H1 Budget Performance FY 2020/21

Source: Author Calculations and Computations from MoFPED data

SecretsKnown has learned that the cumulative expenditure performance for items like inland travel and fuel for State House performed below average. However, the average expenditure for Q3 was programmed at 75% but at the start of Q3, only allowances had reached an expenditure performance of 63.5%.

By the end of H1 FY 2020/21, State House had spent UGX 451 billion as a supplementary on the non-wage budget category. This supplementary was over and above the approved non-wage budget for the State House. The expenditure for the non-wage budget was 151.5%

Budget performance for selected outputs under statehouse H1 FY 2020/21 in Billions

 

Approved budget (‘000)

Q1 Expenditure

(‘000)

Q2 Expenditure

(‘000)

Q3 expenditure

(‘000)

Total Q1+Q2+Q3

(‘000)

Q3 cumulative performance

Travel inland

69,276,199.7

17,319,049.9

17,980,077.3

4,091,590.9

39,390,718.2

56.9%

Fuel and Oil, lubricants

120,000

30,000

30,000

 

60,000

50.0%

Allowances

23,239,09

5,764,919.2

6,847,213.4

2,155,344.5

14,767,477.2

63.5%

Welfare and entertainment

7,488,100

1,831,715.9

1,787,919.2

199,595.5

3,819,230.2

51.0%

Special Meals and drinks

6,875,280

1,317,898

2,015,642

92,900

3,426,440

49.8%

Printing and stationary

755,828

54,580

267,491

17,700

339,771.3

45.0%

From the above table by half-year, State House had received its entire approved budget for the FY 2020/21 because the release performance was at 145.5% of the total budget and the explanation given for over performance was;

“There were a number of emerging issues which heightened the scale of activities; hence spending more than what was actually planned within the first half of the year”[1]

However, the activities that caused overspending were not stated. This is a red flag for the diversion of funds to deal with the “emerging issues”. The secret known is that being a campaign year, there is a possibility that some of the budget allocations to State House may have found their way into financing election campaigns.

In Statehouse, the output that had the highest expenditure was Logistical Support, Welfare & security provided to his Excellency the President, Vice president & their families. UGX 148 bn was approved by Parliament for expenditure on this output but by the end of December 2020, UGX 454.73bn was spent making a budget spent performance of 309.9%.

We also note that the classified expenditure was UGX 418.11 Billion by the end of the 1st half of the FY 2020/21 and in comparison, to the approved classified budget for State House by Parliament, the budget spent performance was 613.9%.

Section 24 (1) of the Public Finance Management Act 2015 (as amended) guides that money appropriated under classified expenditure shall only be used for defense and national security purposes. There is however no explicit mechanism for confirming this Section of the law since this is covered up by Sec 24 (3) which cites confidentiality as the reason for a non-detailed classified budget. As such we can only observe the very high expenditure in comparison to the approved budget but with no possible explanation hence reducing the budget credibility.

 

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