The outgoing Chairperson of Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has advised the new leadership to be alert and watch out for the corrupt officials that are invited to appear before the Committee.
Speaking during the handover of the Committee on Friday 22nd July 2016, the outgoing Chairperson Hon. Alice Alaso advised the new leadership to adopt a new approach in handling issues and to brace themselves for long working hours.
“The Public Accounts Committee is extremely demanding. You will need to continually prioritize your work. Reading will be paramount; as the Chairperson of the Committee, you need to be on top of your game. Make good use of the technical staff attached to the Committee; tap into the knowledge of the Members who have been on the committee for long,” she added.
Alaso advised the new Chairperson, Hon. Angelina Osege (Woman Rep. Serere), to take note of the backlog of reports that were not completed due to lack of quorum in the election year, and to keep the Bible close in the course of her duties.
“Read Psalms 27:7. I will rephrase it; ‘If you are hungry even bitter stuff will taste sweet,’ be careful,” Alaso said.
“A few weeks after I had taken over office [in 2014], seven accounting officers approached me each with an offer of Shs 300m; if I had accepted, I would be Shs 2.1bn richer,” Alaso is quoted by The Observer as having said on the same function.
Hon. Osege accepted her new task and said she was grateful that her party the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) had entrusted her with the responsibility.
“The Bible says what is ordained for you will always be yours. What is deficient in Uganda is honesty and trust. To run this committee well, we as members will not need papers but honesty, truthfulness and openness. It’s not by might or by power but by the spirit of God,” Osege said.
The Public Accounts Committee is a standing committee of Parliament which scrutinizes audit reports from the different government ministries, departments and agencies.
According to the Rules of Procedure, accountability committees are headed by members of the Opposition.