In a move officials say will save more than Shs1 trillion in public administration costs, a cabinet sitting resolved on Monday to merge more than a dozen government agencies and departments with their parent ministries, or scrap them altogether.
Some of the affected agencies include the Uganda National Roads Authority, which has over the fast few years received the lion’s share of the government’s budget; it is to be submerged within the works ministry. A number of agencies overseen by the ministry of finance will become directorates in the Bank of Uganda.
The minister of information and national guidance, Frank Tumwebaze told journalists at the government’s Media Center that the decision is aimed at “liberating resources” and harmonising pay across the public service structure.
“It is not good to have public service officials to have varying salaries,” Mr Tumwebaze said. “If you are a very good executive director in an agency we would not like to lose you, we shall take you on as a commissioner in a ministry.”
He said the restructuring exercise will be implemented in phases pending the harmonisation of the different regulatory frameworks.
Government agencies and departments “have been taking about 37% of the entire national wage bill,” Catherine Bitarakwate, the permanent secretary in the ministry of public service said at the press conference.
According to the cabinet memo announcing the decision, the restructuring is intended to align the functions, structures, plans, and budgets of government institutions with national strategic goals and priorities. It argues that this will lead to efficiency within the government.
The Insurance Regulatory Authority, Uganda Retirement Benefits Regulatory Authority and Uganda Microfinance Regulatory Authority will become “specialised directorates” under the Bank of Uganda, the memo said.
The Uganda Investment Authority, Enterprise Uganda Foundation, and the Uganda Freezones Authority will become directorates in the ministry of finance, on the other hand. The Uganda Exports Promotion Board will be collapsed under the trade ministry.
Those to be merged include the National Council of Higher Education and the National Curriculum Development and Directorate of Industrial Training, which will become one institute. The National Physical Planning and Metropolitan Physical Planning Authority is to become a department under the ministry of lands.
In the energy sector, the Uganda Electricity Generation Company Limited, Rural Electrification Agency, Uganda Electricity Transmission Company Limited, and Uganda Electricity Distribution Company Limited will be rolled into the ministry of energy.
Other affected agencies, to be merged with ministries, are listed below.
Under the accountability sector
1. Non-Preforming Assets Recovery Trust
2. Non-Preforming Assets Recovery Tribunal
3. Departed Asians’ Property Custodian Board
4. National Lotteries Board
5. Uganda Energy Credit and Capitalisation Company Limited
6. Uganda Energy Credit and Capitalisation Company Limited
Under trade and investment
7. Uganda Commodities Exchange
8. Uganda Warehouse Receipt System Authority
Under Justice law and order sector
9. Amnesty Commission
10. National Citizenship and Immigration Control
11. Center for Alternative Dispute Resolution
12. Uganda Registration Services Bureau