The Inspector General of Government has cleared NSSF’s management of any corruption allegations following an investigation instituted as a result of an anonymous whistle blower.
The report, released to the public on Monday, clearly exonerates the NSSF Managers of causing any financial loss. The report specifically commends the NSSF Ag Managing Director Geraldine Ssali Busuulwa for ensuring a safe working environment for NSSF staff when she took a decision to procure an AC system.
Save for a few areas the IGG raised concern about procedure and caution on the part of the Accounting Officer, the report also has recommendations that point to the fact that the Fund should be legally empowered to undertake quick investment decisions to keep pace with the investment environment.
Asked for a comment on the report, MsSsali said, “We applaud the office of the IGG for clearly substantiating the sweeping allegations, it is something they did with professionalism,” Ssali said. She explained that where concerns were raised, they were about procedure, something the Fund has noted and will henceforth ensure that policy, procedure, accountability and openness are its guiding principles.
The IGG also recommended specific reviews of some sections of guiding laws so as to enable the fund function effectively. The recommendations included; that the NSSF management in future should always first seek clearance from the Attorney General before entering into transactions like buying Umeme shares.
In agreement with the IGG’s recommendations, Ssali noted that In order to create more value for the Fund members and create more transparency and accountability, the managers commit to undertake the various control measures proposed by the Inspectorate of Government.
“We are in full agreement with the IGG regarding the need for the Fund to have enabling legal framework to make quick decisions on investments for the benefit of the Fund, its members and the country at large,” said Ssali, adding that the Attorney General has since communicated to the Fund giving clearance for certain classes of investments.
“We are not surprised by the findings because we always believed that we were acting in the best interest of the Fund, our contributors and members of staff. We are glad that the IGG found that most of the allegations were found to be baseless and unfounded,” she said, adding that the IGG’s counsel that Accounting Officers must exercise caution and ensure that policies and procedures must be adhered to.
NSSF MD also asserted that the Fund’s staff are a key factor in fulfilling its promise to members , to create value and pay a competitive return and therefore their well being should never be compromised, something which the IGG agreed with in regard to provision of a safe working environment.
This is also in line with the recent recommendation by the Task force working on liberalization of the pensions sector that a number of the laws, affecting the daily operations of the fund need to be reviewed in light of the fact that the sector is headed for liberalization. “We wish to reiterate our promise to secure a better life for our growing membership by providing quality products, great customer service and offering competitive returns in a transparent and efficient environment, Ssali noted.