Parliament adopts select committee report on NCS recommendations probe

Parliament adopts select committee report on NCS recommendations probe

By Emmanuel Sekago

Kampala – The Parliament of Uganda on Tuesday 25th April adopted the Parliament select committee report on the mismanagement at the National Council of Sports (NCS) with all recommendations there in, save for the Auditor General fresh investigation as there is an ongoing investigation by the Auditor General in regard to the same.

This was after the select committee constituted by Speaker of Parliament Annet Among on November 10th, 2022 to investigate the operations of National Council of Sports (NCS) called for the Auditor General to conduct a forensic audit on the body and all federations affiliated to it.

The committee prayers for adopting the report were answered with the whole house in favour of all the recommendations.

The major highlight of the 47-page report that the chairperson of the Committee MP Laura Kanushu, (Persons with disabilities national) presented to Parliament the inconsistencies on how NCS disburses money to federations.

Inconsistencies in accountability of the disbursed money, the committee found that NCS sent Shs9,348,826,024 to 46 out of the 51 federations and associations between July and December 2022.

The remaining Shs6,025,604,960 was for the Commonwealth and Islamic Solidarity games in Birmingham and Turkey respectively but NCS struggled to fully account for the games.

Despite saying they spent Shs4.865b on Birmingham and sending accountability twice to the committee, NCS could in the end only account for Shs4,833,041,562; a shortage of Shs31,958,438.

For Konya, NCS said they spent Shs1,160,604,960 but presented varying accountabilities showing expenditures of Shs1, 177,447,310 and later Shs1,231,603,310.

The committee also found that whereas NCS accounted for the release of Shs458m to Uganda Rugby Union, there was an additional Shs224,112,000 sent to the same body on July 27th, 2022 was not accounted for, still the committee in the same statement found Dr. Bernard Patrick Ogwel; NCS General Secretary culpable because some federations did not receive funds as approved while some did not receive anything at all.

NCS General Secretary Dr. Bernard Patrick Ogwel. File Photo

The committee says this decision led to withdrawal of national teams from tournaments and qualifiers, particularly the She Cranes who dropped in ranking from sixth to seventh in the World for not taking part in the world cup qualifiers in South Africa last August thereby attracting a fine of £5,000 (about Shs23.5m).

There were additional claims from netball and boxing that NCS spends funds on their behalf contrary to Section 45 of the PFMA. The committee says this was substantiated by the Auditor General in his report on the ‘Special Audit on the releases made by NCS to the boxing federation.’

In the parliamentary select committee recommendations adopted report further says the Auditor General should carry out a forensic audit on the National Council of Sports to establish the inconsistencies observed by the committee.

The committee also recommended that the Inspector General of Government ( IGG ) conducts an in-depth investigation of allegations of corruption made against the Accounting Officer of NCS; Dr. Ogwel.

However, going by the public service Act, statutory instrument 288—1.The Public Service (Commission) Regulations. Part IV (Discipline), Section 29. Interdiction.

(1) Where a responsible officer considers that the public interest requires that a public officer ceases to exercise the powers and functions of his or her office, he or she shall interdict the officer from exercising those powers and functions, if proceedings for his or her dismissal are being taken or are about to be taken or if criminal proceedings are being instituted against him or her.

Then; (4) an officer who is under interdiction may not leave Uganda without the permission of the responsible officer.

With all the fresh investigations starting, it’s only right that NCS General Secretary steps aside, but it remains to be seen if he will do so.

if the IGG and Auditor general to carry out smooth investigation without any sort of evidence interrupted because information has it that he has started witch-hunting people who could be of value with evidence and also using government resources to shut them up.

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