Development partners under the European Union have agreed to increase aid to Uganda, the European Union Head of Delegation in Uganda Ambassador Kristian Schmidt says.
He explains that the bloc will collectively extend funds to Uganda to the tune of Euros 578 million from Euros 439 Million. The money shall be released under the European Development Fund starting this year, 2014 until 2020, Ambassador Schmidt adds.
The increment in aid comes despite fears that during the Global recession most European countries were hit hard and could cut aid to most depending countries such as Uganda. Britain, Denmark,
Ireland and Norway had also suspended aid to the Office of the Prime Minister following claims that staff had diverted $12.7m from an aid programme into private accounts.
But Ambassador Schmidt says that despite this, the European Union decided to keep their development cooperation budget stable.
He adds that the bloc also agreed that some steps be taken to correct some of the issues that caused the OPM scandal. The Ambassador believes though that there are still some weaknesses in managing corruption within government departments.
He wants parliament to expedite the process of passing the Public Financial Management Bill that is still at Committee level in Parliament.
In October 2013 the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development introduced the Treasury Single Account. The Treasury Single Account’s short term goal after the OPM scandal was to aggregate all government cash balances into a set of linked bank accounts.
According to guidelines released by the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Finance Keith Muhakanizi the Treasury Single Accounts framework will be implemented in a phased manner.
It is to initially cover expenditure and revenue bank accounts for Central Government votes and gradually include salary accounts, holding accounts, Non donor funded projects, deposits accounts and later it will include the donor funded projects and other accounts holding public funds.
The initial phase will cover Central Government bank accounts managed through the Integrated Financial and Management System (IFMS), maintained at the Bank of Uganda and Upcountry
Referral Hospitals connected unto the IFMS.
The TSA will exclude Local Government accounts, foreign mission accounts, and accounts of upcountry based agencies and accounts of state owned trading entities.