Amendment of NMS, NDA Acts approved by Parliament

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 Parliament has approved the amendment of the National Medical Stores-NMS and National Drug Authority-NDA acts.

This follows Parliament’s adoption of the Public Accounts Committee- PAC Central Government report on the findings of the Auditor-General on the Health Sector for the financial years 2016/2017 to 2019/2020.

In the report presented by PAC Chairperson Nathan Nandala Mafabi, the laws establishing the two entities should be amended to ensure that NDA effectively performs its supervision role over NMS.

Nandala observes that the General Manager of NMS is a board member of NDA and likewise, the Chairperson of the NDA Board is a board member of NMS. 

He added that the General Manager of NMS is Chairperson – Finance Committee of NDA while the NDA Board chair is a Chairperson of Finance Committee in NMS. PAC also reports that there was no management Committee as per NMS Act.  

Parliament also learnt that NDA transferred 1 billion Shillings to NMS for unclear reasons. On 5th July 2018, a total of 350.8 million was transferred, Shillings149.7 million transferred on 3rd March 2018 and Shillings 449.3 million transferred on 18th March 2019.  

“The funds transferred to NMS were withdrawn in cash as soon as it arrived in NMS. The Police and Inspector General of Government claimed they never saw this transaction because their eyes were closed,” reads part of the committee report.

  PAC further recommends that the theft of 1 billion Shillings should be investigated. 

 According to Nandala, there is serious collision between the Chairman NDA and the General Manager of NMS.

The Committee observes that it is illegal to deposit money for Votes to NMS and that the Vote holders should be responsible for their money and their work plans as per Section 15 of the Public Finance Management Act –PFMA.

The Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga said that this matter reported by PAC is important.  

David Bahati, the Minister of State for Planning said that the Ministry of Health will be able to respond to issues raised in the subsequent Treasury Memorandum.

A Treasury Memorandum means an action report by the Minister or government detailing actions taken on recommendations of parliament arising from a report.

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