MPs order probe into Shs 16bn payroll system

An investigation by the Auditor General John Muwanga into the implementation of the Integrated Personnel and Payroll System (IPPS) reveals that more than $4.4m (Shs 16.7bn) could have been lost since the system is not functional; nine years after the funds were released.

According to Muwanga’s report that is currently before Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) for scrutiny, on July 31, 2009, government contracted two firms for the supply, installation, design, implementation and commissioning of the IPPS.

During the investigations, Auditors established that the Phase I IPPS business application support contract expired in October 2016 while Phase 2 expired in April, 2018.

However, by the close of the first phase, only one module out of the planned nine had attained full operational functionality with the rest of the modules not implemented.

This is because the system’s users detected bugs implying that final user acceptance testing was not done properly.

Inter-operability between the Integrated Financial Management System (IFMS) and the IPPS remains a challenge which has led to major losses of funds at various entities resulting from the manual upload of salary data to the IFMS.

Despite these shortfalls, the Auditor General noted, the contractors were fully paid and commissioned to embark on phase two of the project.

The report also accuses the Ministry of Public Service of being weak in terms of contract management which may ultimately impact on the attainment of all the envisaged objectives of the project.

This forced members of PAC to call for forensic investigation into the payroll system despite explanations by the Ministry that the some of the anomalies had been corrected and currently, four modules are operational and the others are still undergoing reconfiguration by the contractor.

“Let us recommend for a forensic audit, I would want to know who was responsible for the procurement and who did what in the whole process, if they are walking on the face of the earth they must answer,” committee chairperson Angelline Osegge said.