Government disbands 71 agencies, authorities

Cabinet has approved a proposal to restructure the operation of 153 government Agencies, Commissions and Authorities.

The Minister of ICT and Information Frank Tumwebaze said during the weekly government media breifing at Uganda Media Centre that the rationalization or restructuring will involve merging some of the agencies to mother ministries while some were retained.

This, he said, is intended to align the functions, structures, plans and budgets of government institutions based on the national strategic goals and priorities for efficiency in the provision of public services.

Tumwebaze said, government also considered the need to eliminate functional ambiguities, duplications and overlaps among Glgovernment institutions.

“The other intention is to eliminate wasteful expenditures in agencies, commissions and authorities with a view to allocating those resources to other priority areas for socio-economic development of the country,” Tumwebaze said.

Cabinet also considered the need to harmonize wages between employees of the agencies, commissions and authorities and traditional public service in order to improve motivation of public officers.

“People in the agencies are earning higher than the people in ministries by about 5 to 10 times. It was demotivating to the people in the ministries,” Tumwebaze said.

The affected entities under the education sector are, National Council for Higher Education (NCHE) National Curriculum Development Centre (NCDC) and Directorate of Industrial Training that have been merged into one council.

Under the tourism sector, Uganda Tourism Board (UTB), Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), Uganda Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary and Uganda Wildlife Education Centre Trust (UWEC) which are to be “collapsed into specialised departments” under the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities.

Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) has also been abolished and moved back to the Ministry of Works and Transport.

National Identification and Registration Authority (NIRA) has also been phased out and its functions transferred to Ministry of Internal Affairs while the functions of National Information Technology Authority (NITA-U) has been moved to the Ministry of ICT.

Under the accountability sector, Insurance Regulatory Authority (IRA), Uganda Retirement Benefits Authority (URBRA) and Uganda Microfinance Regulatory Authority (UMRA) have been merged to create specialised directorates for non-bank supervision within Bank of Uganda.

In total, 71 out of 153 entities have been recommended for disbandment.

In 2017, a team of operatives working under President Yoweri Museveni’s brother Gen Salim Saleh conducted a research which established that there was wasteful expenditure by government resulting from duplication of work. The report recommended that government merges its agencies and departments to cut on expenditure.

According to the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Public Service Catherine Bitarakwate Musingwiire Uganda shall save about Shs 988.1bn through this restructuring.
She says the enties have been consuming about Shs 10.8trillion on wages, rent and other operational costs.

Catherine Bitarakwate Musingwiire, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Public Service

Tumwebaze said that the changes will come into effect as soon as government harmonises the legal framework.