Parliament Overhauls Process, Treasury Memoranda to Be Presented and Scrutinized in Open Session

The accountability committees of Parliament have implemented a new procedure, shifting from the previous practice of submitting the Auditor General’s Report on the Treasury Memoranda to the Office of the Speaker. Under the updated process, the report, detailing actions taken by the Executive on recommendations from reports adopted by Parliament, will now be presented in Parliament and referred to the relevant accountability committees. Deputy Speaker Thomas Tayebwa announced this change during the plenary sitting on Tuesday, 31 October 2023. Tayebwa, after a meeting involving representatives from the Office of the Auditor General, the Chairperson of the Committee on Rules and Privileges, and Parliament’s technical staff, highlighted the need to openly scrutinize the Auditor General’s Report on the Treasury Memoranda for a comprehensive audit cycle.

“We have resolved that the Report of the Auditor General on the Treasury Memoranda should be tabled on the Floor of Parliament, not submitted to Parliament. Things are done here in plenary in the open, not in offices, and then the accountability committees should assess whether their recommendations were addressed. If not, we can establish mechanisms to ensure follow-ups,” Tayebwa emphasized.

This decision, welcomed by the Auditor General, aims to address recurring accountability issues. According to Tayebwa, Rule 221 of the Rules of Procedure assigns the management of the Report on the Treasury Memoranda to the Auditor General.

Tayebwa revealed plans for further reforms within the accountability committees, emphasizing the need for standardized processes. “For example, each chairperson determines how they process the reports of the Auditor General. If we incorporate the audit handbook of Parliament as an appendix to the Rules of Procedure, chairpersons will have clear guidelines to follow. We are working towards improvements to ensure substantive reports,” he stated.

The Minister of State for Finance in Charge of General Duties, Hon. Henry Musasizi, praised this development as a positive step forward. Hon. Geofrey Macho, an independent representative from Busia Municipality, expressed optimism that these changes would enhance the efficiency of accountability committee chairpersons, enabling them to deliver their reports punctually.