The Inspectorate of Government has recommended the Ministry of Local Government to take an appropriate disciplinary action against Obongi Chief Administrative officer, Mr Charles Ouma, for allegedly flouting procurement regulations and guidelines.
Mr Ouma is also accused of purportedly failing to guide the Community Procurement Committees (CPCs) and Community Project Management Committees during the construction of Development Response to Displacement Impacts (DRDIP) sub projects in Obongi district.
In a letter dated June 28, 2021 addressed to the Permanent Secretary office of the Prime Minister and signed by the Deputy Inspector General of Government (IGG) Justice Mariam Wangadya, states that irregularities were noted in the procurement process at the stage of evaluation of bids.
“The technical officers duped members of the community procurement committee to sign already drafted evaluation report forms at the onset of the evaluation meeting on day one, and presented the same signatures as evidence of a successfully completed evaluation exercise whereas the CPCs were dissatisfied with the process”, the IGGs report reads in part.
The IGG also established that the district assured the community procurement committees that the office of the prime minister would address their complaints while reviewing the evaluation reports; however, the district did not notify OPM of the complaints of the CPCs. The OPM reviewed and provided guidance on the evaluation report without knowing that the CPCs had contested the report.
“The technical officers refused the community procurement committee to carry out due diligence on 2Ambe Company U Ltd, the ‘successful’ bidder for the district Production Office Block construction sub project contrary to the DRDIP Community Based Procurement and Stores handbook, 2018 which provides for due diligence to be carried out”, the letter to the OPM further reads.
Also discovered was that Desert Breeze Hotel, a bidder for the district production office block construction sub project, did not fulfil the requirements for an Inspection or supervision Vehicle and an Environmental Specialist, a fundamental requirement for World Bank funded Projects.
Other district officers implicated alongside the CAO are Mr William Madrwa, the procurement officer, Mr Toah Asega, the assistant inventory officer, Mr Geoffrey Tako, the DRDIP desk Officer and Mr Musafiri Ibrahim, the Ag District Engineer Obongi.
The IGG also recommended that Permanent secretary OPM considers re-starting and overseeing the entire procurement process for the three sub projects and that Toah Asega is removed from being the chairperson of the community project management committee for the district Production department office construction sub project.
When contacted, former Obongi Member of Parliament Mr Hassan Kaps Fungaroo said there is a collapse in the system of management and oversight work to ensure that there is quality service delivery and fight against corruption in the district.
“The technical leadership of Obongi district seems to have the corruption fighting institutions of the government of Uganda in their hands because they are not bothered, they always talk loosely that ‘we shall manage the auditors, we shall manage the IGG, we shall manage the Police’ and when they talk this they talk with pride that they will dish out money and whatever is meant to be investigated shall die”, Fungaroo said.
Obongi district was carved out of Moyo district and became operational on July 1, 2019.