The fraud and corruption scandal in the Office of the Prime Minister has cost government 1.5 billion shillings in a supplementary budget.
Defending their budget estimate for the next financial year, Elem Ogwal, the Assistant Director for Public Prosecutions, said they were given a directive to prosecute all private persons and firms involved in the Office of the Prime Minister case.
Elem explains that the DPP has over 150 fraud and corruption cases in the Anti-Corruption Court and projected to handle 70 prosecution led investigations in 2012/2013.
However, the budgetary allocation for the DPP is inadequate to deal with his workload as well as the workload arising from the OPM, Public Service, Health and Education ministries.
Legislators on the legal and parliamentary affairs committee heard that the directive was resolved on 1st November 2012 at the Inter agency forum that the DPP, Criminal Investigations and Intelligence Directorate (CIID) and the Inspectorate of Government (IGG) should act promptly on a number of high profile investigations and prosecutions.
They were to also request for a special funding for the investigations which money was given to them in November last year and work has been ongoing.
Under the High level government financial management performance action plan matrix, the DPP and CIID sought for money to investigate and recover public funds lost through acts of fraud and prosecution.
The breakdown included stationery worth 2.5 million shillings, pre-trial witness interviews with stationery, research, photocopying and transport for interviews costing 25.5 million shillings. Others included pre-trial disclosure which also had stationery, photocopying and communication costing 18 million shillings.
Also included were three double cabin pick-up trucks worth 330 million shillings, two heavy duty photocopiers each at 100 million and three heavy duty printers each at 20 million shillings.
The committee chaired by Steven Tashobya, MP for Igara West, wondered why the DPP came for approval of a supplementary budget for which they had already received the money and partly spent it.
Ntungamo Municipality MP Yona Musinguzi wondered why the DPP was spending 500 million shillings on photocopying alone.
However, Elem explained that the photocopying is very urgent because when a case occurs they need to collect evidence as soon as possible so as to institute prosecutions or else the witnesses lose some facts.
The committee also wondered if so far there has been value for money ever since the supplementary was released and how much has been recovered from the corrupt officials.
According to the Auditor General’s report, up to 50 billion shillings meant for post-war recovery in northern Uganda was last year misappropriated by staff at the Prime Minister’s office.