After failing to absorb the funds, the Arua district local government returned 4.7 billion shillings to the consolidated fund at the end of the fiscal year 2021–2022.
According to the budget performance report, the wage, pension, and gratuity categories recorded the biggest amount of unspent funds. Only Shillings 15.7 billion out of the Shillings 15.7 billion disbursed for wages, pension, and gratuity were spent, leaving a balance of Shillings 1.6 billion.
Roy Angumaniyo, the Chief Finance Officer for the Arua District, says that they got 36.4 billion shillings to pay for the different activities, but they could only spend 31.6 billion shillings.
He revealed this at the budget conference for FY 2023/24 held at the Arua district council hall on Friday. Milly Nakimuli, the acting planner of Arua District, says that they also returned funds meant for various projects under the Uganda Support to Municipal Infrastructure Development (USMID) program and the Uganda Intergovernmental Fiscal Transfers Program for Results (UgIFT) program for the construction of Aliba Seed Secondary School.
The Public Finance Management Act of 2015 requires ministries, departments, and agencies to send all unspent monies back to the Consolidated Fund before the start of every new financial year. Lillian Paparu, a member of parliament from the Arua district, says that hybrid contracts, which are given by the ministries but carried out by the local government, are to blame for the low use of the budget.
Feni Twaib, who is the executive director of the West Nile Regional Civil Society Network, says that even though the district did well overall in FY 2021/2022, with a score of about 87%, it still needs to improve its advocacy, especially for hybrid contracts given by the central government..
According to budget estimates for the coming 2023–2024 financial year, Arua district expects to receive 26.1 billion shillings, a reduction of 30% compared to the budget for the current 2022–2023 financial year, which is 37.4 billion shillings.