Parliament Approves Rationalisation of Gov’t Agencies


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Parliament has approved the rationalisation of several government agencies to enhance efficiency and optimise resources.

In a plenary session chaired by Speaker Anita Among, on Wednesday 17 April 2024, Parliament passed five bills related to this rationalisation, including the Warehouse Receipt System (Amendment) Bill 2024, the Free Zones (Amendment) Bill 2024, the Uganda Exports Promotions Boards Act (Repeal) Bill 2024, the Uganda Wildlife Conservation Education Centre Act (Repeal) Bill 2024 and the Uganda Wildlife (Amendment) Bill 2024.

Additionally, the House debated and rationalised the Uganda National Meteorological Authority (Amendment) Bill 2024 and the National Commission for UNESCO (Amendment) Bill 2024 doing away with the board and the entity back to the Ministry of Education.

The Uganda National Meteorological Authority (Amendment) Bill 2024 proposed to amend the Uganda National Meteorological Authority Act, 2012, to integrate the functions of the authority into the Ministry of Water and Environment.

However, the report of the Committee on Environment, presented by Dr. Emmanuel Otaala, the Chairperson of the Committee recommended retaining UNMA as a semi-autonomous entity, emphasising its specialised role and capacity for self-sustainability.

Otaala highlighted UNMA’s critical functions in weather and climate monitoring, essential for early warning systems and addressing climate-related challenges.

“The Committee noted that UNMA’s roles are specialised and specific and not duplicated at the Ministry. It is therefore important to retain UNMA as an autonomous institution, while the Ministry focuses on development of policy,” Otaala said.

Despite the committee’s recommendation, some members objected to retaining UNMA as an independent entity, a move that would later lead to the return of the Agency to the Ministry of Water and Environment.

Prof. Elijah Mushemeza (NRM, Sheema County South) questioned the authority’s current financial performance and its effectiveness compared to when it operated as a department.

“We are seeing the proposal that it will generate income, but he has not tabled currently how much money is being generated by the Authority,” he said.

However, others, such as Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda (FDC, Kira Municipality), supported the government’s position, emphasising the need for efficient resource allocation.

“I support the position of Government because they are doing the right thing,” he said.

The debate surrounding UNMA’s rationalisation highlighted concerns about maintaining specialised expertise and ensuring effective service delivery.

While some advocated for retaining its autonomy to preserve its specialised functions, others favoured integration into the Ministry for streamlined coordination.

In another decision, Parliament resolved to transfer the Warehouse Receipt System Authority to the Ministry of Trade Industries and Cooperatives, aiming to save government expenditure. This decision came following concerns about the authority’s poor financial management and governance practices, as highlighted by Mwine Mpaka, Chairperson of the Trade Committee.

“There has been poor absorption of funds allocated to the authority, continued utilisation of funds over parliamentary appropriation, and persistent carryover of funds across financial years without authorisation which are indications of a poorly governed institution,” Mpaka said.

Enos Asiimwe (NRM, Kabula County) opposed the move to rationalise the Warehouse Receipt System Authority.

He stated that the committee never consulted other stakeholders in the warehousing system like banks, farmers groups and warehouse owners.

“They were never consulted on the impact of having the authority back to the Ministry,” he said.

Furthermore, Parliament repealed the Uganda Export Promotions Act, Cap 102, to merge the Export Promotions Board with the Uganda Free Zones Authority, creating the Uganda Free Zone and Exports Promotions Authority.

Additionally, Parliament passed the Uganda Wildlife Conservation Education Centre Act (Repeal) Bill 2024 and adopted the Uganda Wildlife (Amendment) Bill 2024, merging UWEC with UWA.


SOURCE: Uganda Parliament

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