The Uganda Land Commission (ULC) has promised to correct and update all land records and documentation of its operations.
ULC which is charged with managing government land recently came under heavy scrutiny by the Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) over audit queries for the financial year 2020/21.
The commission officials had earlier failed to present to the committee a complete inventory of assets which includes land and property owned by the government, land cases that ULC is faced with and a clear account of its expenditures.
The Chairperson of the committee, Hon. Joel Ssenyonyi failed to get a satisfactory explanation from ULC for the Shs6 billion excess received to clear arrears during the financial year 2020/2021.
“You requested money to clear arrears to a tune of Shs10 billion but you received Shs16 billion. You have not given us supporting documentation showing how this extra money was spent,” he noted.
He added that if indeed the documents to support the expenditures exist, they should have been presented to the auditors and therefore, the matter would not have surfaced.
Hon. Ssenyonyi told the ULC officials that it was hard for the committee to understand the difficulties within which they operate when they cannot provide documentation to counter the audit queries.
However, the Undersecretary to the Commission, Daniel Mugurusi said that all the issues regarding poor documentation, lack of accountability and incomplete inventories were a thing of the past that they were working to rectify.
“We may not have carried with us the accountability but we are sure that it exists and when given the chance, we can present it to the committee alongside all other documentation requested that was not presented then during the audit in question,” he said.
Mugurusi held that the queries raised concerning the excess Shs6 billion in arrears emerged before the current team of officials at ULC took office.
“Most of us took office in 2021 after the previous team running ULC had been asked to step aside. We are committed to taking on the task by correcting all the records and availing all the documentation concerning ULC,” he added.
Mugurusi added that they are working with the little resources they have and against all odds to clean up the mess at ULC and were welcome to all guidance and support from the COSASE committee.
He noted that ULC needed more staff, especially in the ICT and legal unit, the latter of which is non-existent and depends on staff from the Solicitor General’s office.