Clerk to Parliament Adolf Mwesige has suspended the utilization of funds on the account for the Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga Institute of Parliamentary Studies (RAKIPS), pending an investigation.
On September 24, Mwesige wrote to RAKIPS executive director Charles Binwe, informing him his office had detected irregularities in the management of funds for the institute.
RAKIPS is a semi-autonomous entity, running as a government agency supervised by the Parliamentary Commission.
One of its roles is to train MPs, parliamentary staff and local government officials. RAKIPS began its operations in the financial year 2018/2019.
Its board, inaugurated in February 2021, includes MPs such as Dokolo Woman MP Cecilia Atim Ogwal (chairperson), Anna Adeke Ebaju (Soroti Woman MP), former Gulu Municipality MP Lyandro Komakech, Isingiro South MP Alex Byarugaba Bakunda, Justine Niwagaba and Dr Stella Kyohairwe.
Now, clerk to Parliament Mwesige says there is a lot of rot. He complains that because RAKIPS ED Binwe had continued to run the institute without accounting to the clerk to parliament, there had been a lot of irregularities.
He has since ordered an audit of the accounts for RAKIPS.
“I have received reliable information to the effect that funds disbursed to the RAKIPS in form of subvention are being managed in an illegal and irregular manner. As you might be aware, RAKIPS has no authority to manage a vote of its own within the meaning of the Public Finance Management Act of 2015 (PFMA). The funds being expended by RAKIPS in form of subvention are part and parcel of the budget of the Parliamentary Commission for which the Clerk to Parliament is accountable as the Accounting Officer in accordance with Section 11(2) of the PFMA,” Mwesige’s letter to Binwe reads in part.
“I am by copy of this letter requesting the Internal Auditor of Parliament to commence an audit of all RAKIPS expenditure from inception to date. I have also initiated consultations with the Accountant General to advise on the propriety of the bank account and mode of expenditure of public funds allocated to RAKIPS.”
Mwesige also says he is consulting Attorney General Kiryowa Kiwanuka on how to harmonize the Institute of Parliamentary Studies Act of 2017 with the PFMA, 2015.
“In the view of the above ongoing consultations, I direct you to suspend expenditure of funds from the account of the Institute until you receive further guidance from the Parliamentary Commission. The Parliamentary Commission is scheduled to convene in mid- October and therefore this brief suspension of funding and activities of the institute will not have adverse effect on the work of the institute.”