Members of parliament sitting on Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee has quizzed officials of Ministry of Works on why they hire out private architects to design their buildings, yet the Ministry has staff on payroll as architects.
The officials from the Ministry of Works had been summoned to respond to queries raised in the December 2019 audit report that highlighted that although the Ministry budgeted to spend 2.7 billion shilling to support to computerized driving permit, only 2.3 billion shillings was released but the Ministry never achieved the target.
The Commissioner of Transport and Road Safety at the Ministry of Works and Transport told Parliament that the funds were for construction of office premises for computerized driving permits, currently undertaken by Face Technologies, where the contractor is renting premises at Kyambogo.
He said that initially, there were plans to construct offices at Uganda Transport License Board, but these were dropped and changed to Uganda Railway Corporation, a decision that saw Ministry pay an additional cost for change in designs.
Katusabe explained that the decision to acquire new offices was in fulfillment of recommendations from Parliament and the change in location led to cost variance of about 192 million shillings.
It was then that Bunyole west mp James Waluswaka asked the officials why they hire out such services yet the ministry of Works is full of engineers.
The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Works Waiswa Bageya explained that although the Ministry has a department for public structures which has quantity surveyors, architectures.
The Chief Engineer at Ministry of Works Samson Bagonza clarified that the absence capacity is not in terms of experience but in terms of number noting that the structure we have in that department; you may find they don’t have more than ten architects at ourselves.
However, the Chairperson of the public Accounts committee Nandala Mafabi said that the Ministers of Works should have fought hard to retain the old structure of engineers, that would have acted as model in Government.
He said that the supervisors at the ministry of works should have taken this project and produced the required architects to design their building.