MPs Query CAA Over Dealings With Top City Law Firm

Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) officials have failed to answer management-related queries raised in the Auditor General’s report before a committee of parliament.

The parliamentary committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises had on Monday summoned CAA to respond to issues of mismanagement raised in the auditor general’s report.

In the report, the auditor general questions why CAA contracted Kampala Associated Advocates to collect the 54 billion shillings government owed it. The money had accumulated through unpaid rent of the office space by some government agencies.

The report says that there was no need to contract a debt collector because the minister for works and transport, under whose ministry CAA falls, would collect the money since government had already committed itself to paying the money.

CAA said that government wasn’t honoring its commitment and since its financial situation was bad they were forced to hire professional debt collectors to recover the money.

The report further questions how the law firm was procured and why it was paid 5.4 billion shillings, 10 percent of the money yet it was initially to be given a 2.5 percent commission.

Committee member Oyam north MP Crispus Ayena said that CAA must explain how that anomaly came about and whoever caused that financial loss must be held accountable.

CAA managing director Rama Makuza told the committee that Kampala Associated Advocates was procured the right way as per the public Procurement and Disposal of Assets Act. He also said that after successfully collecting the debt, the law firm was entitled to their commission.

Both the managing director and the finance director Samalie Kiseka tried to convince the committee but did not have any documentation to back their claims forcing the committee to send them away until they are prepared enough.

The officials also failed to explain the inflated car maintenance costs and why they acquired a loan of 72 million shillings from Stanbic Bank when it could use the money that government owed it.

The auditor general’s report also questions how over 67 million shillings was used to repair seven cars. It also revealed that some cars were allocated 140 litres of fuel a day saying that official cars and fuel were used for weddings and introductions.

Committee chairman, Kumi County MP Patrick Amuriat asked CAA officials to go and organize themselves and return with satisfactory documents addressing the raised issues.

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