Members of Parliament on the Finance Committee have rejected a
request by the Financial Intelligence Authority (FIA) for an additional 185 million
FIA was established by the Parliament of Uganda to monitor,
investigate, and stop money laundering, illicit financial flows and terrorism
financing in the economy.
Officials from FIA led by the Executive Director, Sydney Asubo
were on Thursday appearing before the committee chaired by Rubanda East MP
Henry Musasizi to present the Authority’s ministerial policy statement for the
coming financial year 2019/2020.
According to the FIA policy statement, the authority has been
allocated 13.29 billion shillings in the coming financial year 2019/2020 up
from 12.29 billion that was provided in current financial year.
Asubo told MPs that the authority requires extra 185 million
shillings to cover a shortfall under their wage budget for their current staff.
When quizzed by Musasizi on how the shortfall arose, Asubo stated
that FIA Board of Directors had authorized an annual 5% salary increment for
staff which was included in the Authority’s underfunded items.
Asubo’s response irked Musasizi who asked whether the Financial
Intelligence Authority had the authority to commit government to pay a salary
increment. Asubo argued that the wage policy was made by the board pending
availability of funds and parliamentary approval.
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Musasizi turned down the request noting that his committee would not give the
approval for salary increments.
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Meanwhile, FIA also appealed to the committee to allocate addition
3 billion shillings for recruitment of 24 new staff. Asubo told MPs that the
authority is operating without nearly 50% of its approved staff structure.