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Soroti District Fails to Absorb Over UGX. 1 Billion of Staff Salaries

The money reflected in the Auditor-General's report for the year ending June 2020 indicates that the district had under absorbed the payroll to a tune of 1.086 billion Shillings. Although the balances were returned to the treasury at the end of the financial year, they were sent back to the district in the current financial year.
CAO Luke Lokuda

Audio 2

Soroti District Local Government has failed to absorb more than one billion Shillings that was meant for staff salaries in two consecutive financial years.

The money reflected in the Auditor-General's report for the year ending June 2020 indicates that the district had under absorbed the payroll to a tune of 1.086 billion Shillings. Although the balances were returned to the treasury at the end of the financial year, they were sent back to the district in the current financial year.

The report indicates that the district had 43 per cent of its structure filled with vacant positions. But even after the recruitment that was conducted in this financial year, the district will still return some of the money meant for staff salaries to the treasury, according to the Chief Administrative Officer, Luke Lokuda.

He says that the first recruitment process for the financial year 2019/2020  was disrupted by the outbreak of the global COVID-19 pandemic after the district had run adverts for recruitment and generated a shortlist. Lokuda explains that even when the Ministry of Finance sent back the money for recruitment for the 2020/2021 financial year, clearance by the Ministry of Public Service came in the second quarter of the financial year.

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According to Lokuda, the district has now recruited more than 170 staff, promoted 80 and confirmed 50 others with the available funds. He notes that Soroti has attained 92 per cent of the staff levels, something he notes, will be able to improve services in the district.

However, according to the Auditor General's report, Soroti district also returned 321 million Shillings unpaid gratuity funds. But Lokuda explained that some of the pensioners had issues with documents to enable them to access payments on time.

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Gregory Egunyu, the outgoing district chairperson says there were issues with the District Service Commission which he declined to highlight.  But when asked, Lokuda said that he dismissed one of the District Service Commission officials over corruption.