Gulu City was elevated from a municipal to city status in July last year but its new details had not been fed into the IFMS by the Ministry of Finance. This has greatly weighed down and hindered the utilization of money in its bank accounts.
Gulu City is struggling to utilize 201.2 million shillings
Covid-19 fund due to failures of the Integrated Financial Management System
The IFMS is an automated budgeting and accounting system used by government
entities to initiate, spend and monitor their budgets, process payments, manage
and report on their financial activities.
It is part of the broader Public Finance Management (PFM) reforms intended to
improve budget preparation, accounting, reporting and auditing processes.
Gulu City was elevated from a municipal to city status in July last year but
its new details had not been fed into the IFMS by the Ministry of Finance. This
has greatly weighed down and hindered the utilization of money in its bank
In July this year, Gulu City received 201.2 million shillings from the Ministry
of Health to facilitate the Covid-19 surveillance, data collection, transport
and allowances for the Village Health Teams and Task Forces among others.
Gulu Resident City Commissioner, Denis Odongpiny Odwong who is also the Gulu
City Chairperson Covid-19 Taskforce says that consequently after receiving the
money, they developed a work plan which was submitted to the Ministry of health
and also approved.
The work plans include 51.2 million shillings for the 128 Village CVID-19
Taskforces, 90 million shillings for travels, surveillance and data collection,
22.5 million shillings for vehicle maintenance and 37.5 million shillings`
allowances for the City COVID-19 Taskforce members.
However, the money has been lying idle to date as the city authorities say that
their constant struggle to request the money through the IFMS system has since
Odongpiny says that the money has been lying idle in the bank account since it
was received due to the bureaucracies, technicalities and failures of the IFMS
much as they had been trying to utilize it.
He admitted that the failure to utilize has not only affected responses to the
Covid-19 situation in the City but also backtracked the commitments by the task
forces in executing their duties to fight against the disease.
Xavier Obwona, the Gulu City Deputy Town Clerk added that their request for
money from the IFMS system has been futile because the City bank account
details have not yet been upgraded from the municipal to the City account.
He disclosed that the challenges in accessing money through the system have
also affected the payment of some of the City staff since the attainment of the
City status in July last year.
Moses Otimong the Gulu City Town Clerk says that the money was received but the
Ministry of Finance took a long time to upload the city`s details to the system
until late last week.
He explained that they are now in the process of transferring money to the two
divisions, transferring money for fuel, yet to reach out to the people and
create awareness and start facilitation of the task forces since the account
has been upgraded already.
//Cue in: ‘’we are now…
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Joyce Alima, the Speaker Gulu City Speaker also told URN that they were already
purchasing fuel on credit from the different fuel stations to aid their
activities noting that the demands for facilitation from the task forces had
Emmy Daniel Ojara is a young journalist and has been practicing since 2013, during which he covered land rights violation in the contested Apaa and Lakang in Amuru as his first take ups while at Gulu Fm, Favor Fm and later Paidha Fm and Speak Fm where he is still attached.
Human rights abuses and denied access to land by security and government agencies has been the major aftermath of the contest over the lands. The underprivileged such as women, children and the elderly faced challenges in accessing soc