24 February 2024

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Acholi-bur sub-county councilors close secy’s office over shs20m misuse  

Acholi-bur sub-county LC3 chairperson said they closed the offices due to a lack of transparency from the technical wing on how public funds are being used. 
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Last Updated on: 22nd February 2022, 06:50 pm

Acholi-bur sub-county councilors now want the assistant secretary transferred.  


By Kinyera A. Lakomekec & Regina Lalam

Pader – February 22, 2022. Political leaders in Acholi-bur sub-county on Friday, February 18 closed the office of the sub-county assistant secretary (SAS) over allegations of mismanaging funds meant for the council’s planned activities

The amount in question is over shs20million.  

During a full council meeting held at the sub-county headquarters last week, councilors were frustrated because there were no clear reports to be given to the council on the funds received by the sub-county.

The funds is a release under District Discretionary Development Equalization Grant (DDEG) Fund. 

Richard Okot, chairperson of finance, administration and planning committee said the SAS and the sub-county accountant did not produce reports for quarters I and II yet they informed the council that there are no more funds. 

He added that this prompted the political wing to ask for the documentation to back up the statements given, but to their dismay, they were denied access.  

Okot added that the planned activities included building a temporary sub-county headquarters and a latrine under DDEG amounting to shs38 million for the entire financial year.  

Johnson Okot, Acholibur sub-county LC3 chairperson said they closed the offices due to a lack of transparency from the technical wing on how public funds are being used. 

He added that the technical department always produces verbal reports in regards to the funding received by the sub-county which is not official. 

“Quarter II report was not availed to the political wing/ finance committee despite a request made, but only to be told by the person taking care of SAS’s office that; there was no more data,” he added.

According to the LC3 chairperson, there is no transparency from the technical staff, something that prompted them to write a letter requesting the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) to transfer the SAS.

He revealed that the political wing is being dodged on issues concerning releases to the sub-county by the technical people since there is no tangible output seen as planned, but the fund is no more.

Godwin Wokorach, LC5 councilor for Acholibur sub-county said the SAS is very rude and harsh to the political wing whenever asked about financial issues, and always don’t attend council meetings.

According to Wokorach, there are more problems at the sub-county offices that needs to be investigated because there is no transparency when dealing with money.

He added that there is poor coordination of work between the sub-county chairperson and the technical people accompanied with no accountability of quarter I and II releases from July 2021 to December 2021.

However, Acholibur SAS, George Okot P’Adonga when asked about the issue, said that he is on sick leave for months. “And any information needed, there is a delegated person; Grace Akot to handle it.”

The Principal Assistant Secretary in the CAO’s office, Joyce Ongee Anek said the alleged scandal has not yet reached their office formally from the sub-county leaders, but promised to carry out investigations into the matter immediately as directed by the CAO through the audit team.

Anek added that the accused persons must produce the quarterly reports to account for the releases sent to their sub-county majorly for quarter II.

Acholibur sub-county shared shs61million with Acholi Bur town council with each getting shs38million and shs23million respectively, according to the number of the parishes contained in the financial year 2021/2022.

Meanwhile, Denis Obalim the sub-county accountant told Our Reporter Regina Lalam that the money for headquarters construction is there but attributed the delays to the procurement process at the district.

The process, he said has made them keep the monies waiting for the district to identify the contractor.

 

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