CSOs Oppose Amendments To Public Finance Management Law

Members of the civil society are up in arms against the government’s decision to amend the Public Finance Management Act that was passed into law six months ago.
The civil society Budget Advocacy Group says some of sections in the law which government considers for repealing are crucial for management of the country’s budget.
The International Monetary Fund had earlier urged government to pass the Public Finance Management law to help in management of public funds.
However, before the law is implemented, the government has returned it to parliament, calling for amendments.
According to Patrick Katabazi, a budget specialist, government should first test the law before considering any amendments.
In the proposed amendments,  government wants the requirement for a certificate of compliance, issued by Finance Minister in consultation with Equal Opportunities Commission to ensure that all the ministerial budgets respond to the needs of marginalized groups revised.

Government also wants Parliament to provide another window for supplementary budget financing instead of the contingency fund created in the law.

While the most contentious proposed amendment is for the Finance Ministry to pick money from the Central Bank without necessarily seeking prior parliamentary approval.

On Tuesday last week members of the Finance Committee chaired by Robert Ssebunya (Kyadondo North) started scrutinizing the amendments which the Equal Opportunities Committee has described as “injurious” to the spirit of all-inclusive development.

To this, however, the ministry of finance spokesperson Mr. Jim Mugunga says the budgeting process follows a holistic approach that is intended to benefit all Ugandans.

Story By Moses Ndhaye