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Clash Between Parliament and Executive Over Government Agencies Merger


clash between parliament and executive over government agencies merger

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Members of Parliament (MPs) gathered for a session chaired by Speaker Anita Among on the second day of discussions regarding Bills concerning the merger of government agencies. However, the session ended prematurely. Some MPs have criticized the Executive, claiming that it has not adequately prepared for the rationalization and merging of its agencies. They argue that this lack of preparation exposes loopholes that could undermine the much-needed reform in the public sector.

These concerns were raised after Parliament’s ICT committee blocked the dissolution of the National Information Technology Authority Uganda (NITA-U). The committee argued that NITA-U performs unique duties not replicated by any other government entity. Additionally, it generates considerable revenue for the State, contrary to the Executive’s reasons for its abolition.

The government has defended the rationalization of select agencies, stating that it aims to eliminate role duplication and reduce financial strain on resources. However, Parliament’s report highlights inadequacies in the certificate of financial implication provided by the Executive. The report emphasizes that NITA-U operates efficiently, covering its operational costs and contributing revenue to the government.

Furthermore, the committee noted that the Ministry of ICT failed to execute key projects currently under NITA-U, particularly those related to advancing the digital agenda. Consequently, discussions on the Bills related to the merger process were adjourned prematurely.

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Bugweri County lawmaker Abdu Katuntu demanded transparency from the government, urging it to publicize the study informing the rationalization process. He questioned the efficiency of ministries compared to the agencies being targeted for merger and emphasized the need for detailed justification.

Public Service Minister Muruli Mukasa defended the process, stating that a study was conducted. However, MPs remained unconvinced by the evidence presented, prompting the minister to acknowledge the need for more time to gather additional evidence.

Kazo County MP Dan Kimosho expressed doubts about the thoroughness of the rationalization process, suggesting that those responsible might be misleading the country. Speaker Anita Among clarified that Parliament does not oppose mergers but expects the Executive to conduct a thorough review. She emphasized the importance of maintaining agencies that contribute positively to the government’s finances while eliminating those that incur losses.

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