The Ministry of Gender has failed to clarify an expenditure of 3.7 billion Shillings on domestic arrears over and above an appropriated budget. The Ministry was allocated 183 million Shillings for clearance of domestic arrears during the Financial Year 2017/2018.
The officials Led by their former Permanent Secretary (PS) Pius Birigimana, struggled to convince the Public Accounts of Parliament this morning that the expenditure was inevitable.
Bigirimana told the committee that the expense was in line with guidelines on domestic arrears expenditures issued by the Secretary to Treasury Keith Muhakanizi. But he asked for more time to present the guidelines, as soon as he was pushed by the committee to avail the guidelines he was making reference to.
Ministry of Gender Principal Accountant, Emily Birekeyaho told the committee that the domestic arrears paid were in relation to utilities, pension and Social Assistance Grants for Empowerment (SAGE) saying that the money was diverted from the Workman’s compensation budget and the SAGE vote, whose beneficiaries have not been verified.
Birekeyaho also argued that arrears take first call on the budget as per a circular issued by the Secretary to Treasury, and equally sought for more time to present the required documentation.
However the Matheniko County Legislator observed that the Secretary to Treasury cannot replace provisions under the Public Finance Management Act prompting the committee chairperson Nathan Nandala Mafabi to task the Gender Ministry to produce authorization for spending on items that had not been budgeted for.