UNRA: PAC, Auditor General Blamed for Negligence

Uganda Revenue Authority has registered the highest revenue collection growth rate of 17.98 percent in the first quarter of the 2015/16 financial year.

The Authority which released its performance on Thursday had the highest growth in East Africa.

The regional average growth was 12.57 percent for the period in comparison to the same period last financial year.

URA’s general revenue performance was 98.48 percent and Rwanda revenue Authority had 99 percent.Rwanda registered the lowest revenue growth of 7 percent.

Doris Akol, order the Authority’s Commissioner General said URA Collected Ugs 2, visit web 463.77billion.

Domestic taxes net collections for the period of July to September 2015 were UgS 1, discount 310.52 billion against a target of 1,364.36 bn, registering a growth of 21.79 percent compared to the previous financial year.

This revenue according to Akol was above the total revenue expected annual growth rate of 19.8 percent.

Akol said the international trade taxes net collections for the same period were 1,154.66 billion against a target of 1,137.36 billion. This registered a growth of 14.07 percent.


Akol noted that with regionalization and globalization,customs is focused more on trade facilitation than revenue generation.

Akol said the main contributor to the growth in domestic tax revenue was among others, the insurance and financial service sector that posted a surplus of 18.93 billion due to improved compliance of players in the sector.

The growth was also attributed to efficient enforcement interventions thatresulted in recovery of arrears.

The Commissioner General said domestic tax revenue was affected by increased offset and input claim on oil and gas, electricity, soft drinks, telecom and beer, leading to less VAT  payable.

‘Decrease in sales for the locally manufactured beer brands which negatively impacted VAT performance also contributed to this year’s domestic tax revenue,” she added.

Major items that registered growth in VAT on importation included hot rolled iron, telephone equipment, good transport vehicles, lubricants and bulldozers.

Manufacturing Sector Leads in Performance

The commissioner General revealed that the top 5 performing sectors contributed approximately 79 percent of the total net collections in the first quarter of the financial year.

The manufacturing sector was the leading contributor with 30.6 percent of the net revenue collections, followed by whole sale and retail sector which contributed 19 percent.

Information and communication came in third position followed by financial and insurance and public administration which contributed 5.9 percent.

Compared to last year, the manufacturing sector increased its revenue share to 30.6 percent and the whole sale and retail registered a decline in revenue share during the period.

Akol said the decrease was mainly affected by increased cost of inputs and cost of capital.
The Parliamentary Accounts committee (PAC) and Auditor General’s office are the latest organs to be cited in the ongoing UNRA commission of inquiry for being negligent in their oversight role as public resources went to waste.

This was according to Eng. Dr. Michael Odongo the Executive Director Uganda Road Fund (URF) while appearing as witness before the probe committee on Thursday.

He said that URF conducted an audit on UNRA stations for the year 2013/14 and discovered that there was a lot of irregularities, medicine moneys dispersed never reached and works for which it was intended were not done.

Furthermore, this site 40 percent of transactions made at these stations were in cash which violates the treasury law.

“We wrote a letter to the Ministry of Finance requesting that a forensic audit on these stations be expedited. Our hope was that these issues would be picked up by PAC and the Auditor General” he said

Eng. Odongo was disappointed that no steps were taken by these organs to further investigate the audit findings.

“The audit findings indicate that over Ugshs. 500M could not be accounted for in one of the UNRA upcountry stations. A red flag of this nature should have been taken seriously” he commented.

“URF doesn’t have coercive powers to investigate or make arrests. But we did our part by detecting these irregularities”

He however entirely blamed UNRA for delegating procurement role to upcountry stations yet failing to recruit competent staff to manage it.

Recent investigations by the commission discovered that procurement at the stations was handled by mere secretaries some of whom had S4 and S6 qualifications with no training in procurement.

Nevertheless, Eng. Odongo asserted that URF could not stop its funding to UNRA saying; “We knew that this would affect the end user who’s the road user. Besides, these funds constitute 65 percent of our budget and we couldn’t spend it otherwise.”

The Uganda Road Fund is an organ mandated to finance routine and periodic maintenance of public roads through designated agencies like UNRA, KCCA and local governments.


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