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Competence of Clerk on Lukwago Petition Questioned

The competence of the Parliament Clerk who was supposed to draft a report in response to Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago\'s petition has been called into question.
The competence of the Parliament Clerk who was supposed to draft a report in response to Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago's petition has been called into question.

 

Paul Ouma is the Committee Clerk, who facilitated the committee on Public Service and Local Government during the consideration of the KCCA Petition by Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago. 

 

Ouma was apparently sidelined by the Public Service Committee chairperson Florence Kintu and Vice Chairperson Rafael Magyezi.

 

The MPs argued that Ouma was unable to draft an adequate report which eventually recommended powers over Kampala to be given to President Museveni.

 

The draft report Ouma a Senior Clerk Assistant had made for the committee was rejected by the two MPs who went on to craft their own report. 

 

While presenting the select committee report to the House, MP Stephen Baka Mugabi noted that in the course of their investigation into the contentious KCCA report, it was established that the draft report that Ouma Paul wrote was fundamentally lacking which made it inadequate for draft report consideration.

 

He noted that the draft report did not capture the findings of the Public Service Committee during the investigation neither did it contain the observations and recommendations of the committee.

 

The select committee found the clerk wanting in conceptual, analytical and evaluative skills saying that these are fundamentals in minute and report writing.

 

MP Baka noted that Ouma informed the select committee that he did not capture the findings, observations and recommendations in the draft report because members had not made any throughout the consideration of the petition.

 

Baka noted that the committee minutes written by the same officer did not capture the critical issues raised or noted by members during their meetings with witnesses, no findings, observations or key decisions reached.

 

The committee clerk progressively did not write minutes of the committee proceedings neither did he impress it upon the committee to review and confirm the minutes.

 

MP Baka further informed the House that Ouma did not secure an audio recording of committee proceedings and the subsequent production of transcripts of the proceedings (Hansard), yet the matter that was under investigation was very sensitive.

 

The select committee also found out that this committee clerk did not keep custody of key documents (memoranda or submissions of witnesses) received by the committee. He did not bring to the attention of the clerk to parliament the irregularities surrounding the irregular manner in which the committee wrote and endorsed the final report.

 

The select committee faulted Ouma on this saying that had he informed the clerk to parliament, she would have intervened in time and that he failed to act professionally when he well knowing the irregularities in the committee report went ahead to take responsibility of production of copies of the final report for consideration in the House.

 

The select committee noted that without reasonable cause, Ouma as a committee clerk failed to perform one of his cardinal duties of writing the committee report on the KCCA petition within the expected period of five months between January and May 2013.

 

The Select Committee recommended that the parliamentary commission ensures the implementation of a capacity building and skills development program for staff especially in the area of report writing.

 

It also noted that the fundamentally lacking report written by Ouma could be a signal that the quality of some committee reports is deteriorating which they said called for collective action by the parliamentary commission.

 

However, Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga noted that the Commission has always provided trainings for staff and showed disappointment in the manner in which this particular committee report was handled.

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