URA, IGG partner to fight corruption

By Stephen Otage

sotage@ug.nationmedia.com

The Inspector General of Government (IGG) Justice Irene Mulyagonja has asked the public to report suspicious assets owned by public servants so they can be investigated and action taken on them.

Speaking at a signing ceremony for a new collaboration between her office and Uganda Revenue Authority (URA), Ms Mulyagonja has said that now they have the law which allows them to pursue property which is hidden in other people’s names or companies and they can verify that information with other government agencies.

“We have memoranda of understanding with agencies like the Financial Intelligence Authority, PPDA, office of the auditor general, NIRA where we can track property and the tax payment and their earnings over the years,”  she said adding that even assets like buildings and companies under which illegally acquired assets are being hidden, can now we exposed.

She has cited a case they are pursuing in court where a Church congregation hid their assets in the name of a church and they managed to expose them and the matter is now in court right.

Mulyagonja adds that they are following a directive by the Finance Minister Matia Kasaija last year where he directed her office to provide assistance to different government agencies which are working towards plugging the loopholes through which government is losing revenue.

“The finance Minister directed that he wants to see our office contributing towards plugging the holes through which government is losing money. In fact what we are going is to help government collect its tax,” she said.

Meanwhile, Doris Akol the URA Commissioner General says this official partnership between the two institutions, marks a major milestone in the fight against corruption because both IGG and URA have specialized areas of investigations on corruption cases.

“IGG has good investigative areas, URA has a science and forensics laboratory where we can monitor tax and maladministration and now we are going to be exchanging information in a less formal way as it has been before,” she said.