THE PUBLIC FINANCE AND ACCOUNTABILITY ACT, 2003
ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS
PART I – PRELIMINARY.
Short Title and Commencement.
PART II - CONTROL AND MANAGEMENT OF PUBLIC FINANCE.
Development of economic policy and advice by the Minister.
Supervision, control and management of public finances.
Regulations and directives.
Powers of the Secretary to the Treasury.
Designation, powers and duties of the Accountant General.
Appointment and duties of accounting officers.
Consolidated Fund and special funds.
Investment of and advances from the Consolidated Fund.
Grants of credit.
Issues from the Consolidated Fund.
1Accountant- General’s warrants.
Estimates of revenue and expenditure.
Provision if Appropriation Act not in force.
Duration of appropriations and warrants.
PART III - LOANS, GUARANTEES AND GRANTS.
2Authority to raise loans.
3Moneys borrowed to be paid into the Consolidated Fund.
4Raising of loans.
5Repayment, conversion and consolidation of loans.
6Expenses of loans.
7Authority to guarantee loans.
8Beneficiary to reimburse all costs.
9Authority to receive grants.
10Amounts due on loans or guarantees to be charged on Consolidated Fund.
11Minister to specify particulars in annual estimates.
12Delegation of functions.
PART IV - PREPARATION, AUDIT AND EXAMINATION OF ACCOUNTS.
14Annual and other reports.
15Duties of the Auditor-General.
16Powers of the Auditor-General.
17Right of Auditor-General to submit reports to the Minister.
18Value for money audits.
37 Delegation of functions.
PART V - CONTROL OF THE FINANCES OF STATE ENTERPRISES ETC.
Accounts of state enterprises etc.
19Control of accounts of public organizations
PART VI – MISCELLANEOUS.
21Abandonment of claims etc. and write off of public money and stores.
23Penalties and surcharge.
24Annulment by Parliament of statutory instruments.
25Amendment of Schedules.
27Repeals and savings.
49 Precedence of this Act.
First Schedule - Currency point.
Second Schedule – Conditions and terms for raising loans.
Third Schedule – Provisions for submission of accounts.
THE PUBLIC FINANCE AND ACCOUNTABILITY ACT, 2003
An Act to provide for the development of an economic and fiscal policy framework for Uganda; to regulate the financial management of the Government; to prescribe the responsibilities of persons entrusted with financial management in the Government; to regulate the borrowing of money by Government; to provide for the audit of Government, state enterprises and other authorities of the State; and to provide for other connected matters.
DATE OF ASSENT: 22 May 2003
Date of commencement: (See Section 1(2))
BE IT ENACTED BY Parliament as follows:
PART I - PRELIMINARY.
1. Short title and Commencement.
This Act may be cited as the Public Finance and Accountability Act, 2003.
This Act shall come into operation on a date appointed by the Minister by statutory instrument.
Different dates may be appointed under subsection (2) in respect of different provisions of this Act.
In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires-
“Accountant- General” means the person designated under section 7;
“accounting officer” means a person designated under section 8 as accounting officer;
“Appropriation Act” means any Act to applying for a sum of money out of the Consolidated Fund to the service of a financial year;
“Auditor-General” means the person appointed or deemed to have been appointed Auditor-General under Article 163 of the Constitution;
“bill” means a Treasury bill issued under section 22 and in accordance with the First Schedule to this Act;
“bond” means a bond issued under section 22 and in accordance with the provisions of the First Schedule to this Act;
“chief executive” means the person who has responsibility for managing the affairs of a public organisation;
“commitment” means a contract or other legal commitment that results in expenditure;
“Consolidated Fund” means the Consolidated Fund of Uganda established under Article 153 of the Constitution;
“currency point” has the meaning assigned to it in the First Schedule to this Act
"expenditure vote" means a group of estimates for which an appropriation is made by an Appropriation Act or Supplementary Appropriation Act;
“financial year” means a period of twelve months ending on 30th June;
“generally accepted accounting practice” means accounting practices and procedures recognised by the accounting profession in Uganda and approved by the Accountant General as appropriate for reporting financial information relating to Government, a Ministry or department, a fund, an agency or other reporting unit, and which are consistent with this Act and any relevant Appropriation Act;
"Government" means the Government of Uganda;
“information” includes accounts;
"internal audit" means a process to measure, evaluate and report to the management of an entity on the efficacy of the system of internal control used to ensure the validity of financial and other information;
"internal control" means a set of systems to ensure that financial and other records are reliable and complete and which ensure adherence to the entity's management policies, the orderly and efficient conduct of the entity, and the proper recording and safeguarding of assets and resources;
“loan” means any loan raised by the Government;
"local government council" means a council referred to in Article 180 of the Constitution;
“Minister” means the Minister responsible for finance;
“outputs” means goods produced or services provided;
“propriety” means the requirement that expenditure and receipts must be dealt with in accordance with the intentions of Parliament and, in particular, those expressed through an appropriate Committee of Parliament;
“public moneys” means-
(a) the public revenues of Government; and
(b) any trust or other moneys held, whether temporarily or otherwise, by an officer who may or may not be a public officer, in his or her official capacity, either alone or jointly with any other person;
“public officer” means a person holding or acting in an office in the public service;
“public organisation” means an enterprise, authority, body or entity to which sub-section (6) of section 39 applies;
“public property” means resources owned by the Government or in the custody or care of the Government;
“regularity” means the requirement for all items of expenditure and receipts to be dealt with in accordance with the legislation authorising them, including this Act and any applicable delegated authority, regulations, directives and instructions issued under this Act;
“resources” includes moneys, stores, property, assets, loans and investments;
“state enterprise” means-
(a)notwithstanding paragraph (b); a body corporate established under any Act other than the Companies Act or a local government council;
(b) a company registered under the Companies Act in which the Government or a state enterprise is able to-
(i) control the composition of the board of directors of the company;
(ii) cast, or control the casting of more than fifty percent of the maximum number of votes that might be cast at a general meeting of the company; and
(iii) control more than fifty percent of the issued share capital of the company, excluding any part of that issued share capital that carries no right to participate beyond a specified amount in a distribution of either profits or capital.
“statutory expenditure” means expenditure charged on the Consolidated Fund by the Constitution or an Act of Parliament, including this Act, but does not include the expenditure of moneys appropriated or granted by an Appropriation Act or Supplementary Appropriation Act; and
“Supplementary Appropriation Act” means any Act, the purpose of which is to supplement the appropriation already granted by an Appropriation Act.
PART II - CONTROL AND MANAGEMENT OF PUBLIC FINANCE.
3. Development of economic policy and advice by the Minister.
(1) The Minister shall develop and implement a macroeconomic and fiscal policy framework for Uganda and for this purpose shall-
(a) advise Government on the total of resources to be allocated to the public sector and the appropriate level of resources to be allocated to individual programmes within that sector;
(b) supervise and monitor the public finances of Uganda; and
(c) co-ordinate the international and inter-governmental financial and fiscal relations of Uganda.
(2) The Minister shall ensure that Parliament is kept informed of the-
current and projected state of the economy;
finances of Uganda; and
fiscal policy of the Government.
(3) For the purpose of sub-section (2), the Minister shall-
(a) at the time of presentation of the estimates as required by section 15, ensure that a complete report is made to Parliament which-
(i) sets out recent trends and developments in indicators of the economy of Uganda;
(ii) identifies the period considered by the Minister to be appropriate for the planning of the fiscal policy of the Government;
(iii) provides forecasts of the indicators in sub-paragraph (i) of this paragraph, for the current year and the period determined by the Minister under sub-paragraph (ii) of this paragraph;
(iv) supplies detailed information on recent fiscal developments and forecasts for the period determined by the Minister under sub-paragraph (ii) of this paragraph in respect of -
(bb) current and capital expenditures;
(cc) borrowing and debt servicing;
(dd) contingent liabilities; and
(ee) any other information in respect of assets and liabilities that may be considered appropriate by the Minister ; and
(b) provide Parliament with any additional reports and information as may be necessary during the financial year.
4. Supervision, control and management of public finances.
(1) The Minister shall-
(a) ensure that systems are established throughout Government for planning, allocating, and budgeting for the use of resources in order to improve the economy, efficiency and effectiveness of Government;
(b) consider all requests for the issue of moneys from the Consolidated Fund and, where the Minister considers it appropriate, approve their inclusion in estimates of expenditure for submission to Parliament in accordance with section 15; and
(c) enhance the control of Parliament over public resources and public moneys by maintaining transparent systems which-
(i) provide a full account to Parliament of the use of resources and public moneys;
(ii) ensure the exercise of regularity and propriety in the handling and expenditure of resources and public money and, in particular, that goods or services are procured in a fair, equitable, competitive and cost-effective manner; and
(iii) ensure the efficient and cost effective cash management of the Consolidated Fund, any other fund established under this Act and other public moneys.
(2) For the purpose of sub-section (1), the Minister shall, subject to this Act, be responsible for the management of the Consolidated Fund and the supervision and control of all matters relating to the financial affairs of the Government.
5. Regulations and directives.
(1) The Minister may give instructions or directives that may appear to the Minister necessary and expedient for the proper carrying out of the intent and purposes of Parliament, and for the safety, economy and advantage of the public revenue and public property.
(2) The Minister shall take all proper steps to ensure that any instructions or directives given under this section are brought to the notice of persons directly affected by them, but it shall not be necessary to publish the instructions and directives in the Gazette.
(3) An accounting officer and a public officer to whom this section applies shall comply with any regulations issued under this Act, any directives or instructions given under them and all instructions that may from time to time be given by the Accountant General under sub-section (2) of section 7.
6. Powers of the Secretary to the Treasury.
(1) The Secretary to the Treasury may, from time to time, require an accounting officer, or the chief administrative officer of a local government council, or the chief executive of any public organisation or any entity that manages an asset or liability of the Government, to supply any information that the Secretary to the Treasury considers necessary for the purpose of section 3.
(2) Any requirement under sub-section (1)-
(a) shall be in writing; and
(b) may specify the date by which and the manner in which the information required is to be provided, but where a date is specified, that date shall be reasonable, having regard to the information required.
(3) The Secretary to the Treasury is responsible to the Minister for the effective application of this Act and any regulations, instructions or directives issued under this Act;
An Accounting Officer shall-
whenever the necessity arises, consult the Secretary to the Treasury on the applicability of this Act, any regulations, instructions or directives issued under this Act; and
(b) bring to the immediate attention of the Secretary to the Treasury any defect in the application of this Act, any regulations or guidelines made under this Act that may result in a diminution of control over the resources and finances of Government.
The Secretary to the Treasury shall bring to the immediate attention of the Minister any defect in the application of this Act, or any regulations or directives or instructions issued under this Act that may result in a diminution of control over the resources and finances of the Government.
Subject to this Act and any regulations, instructions or directives issued under this Act, the Secretary to the Treasury may give directives and instructions he or she considers necessary for the effective and efficient discharge of the intents and purposes of this Act.
The Secretary to the Treasury and any public officer authorised by him or her, may inspect all offices affected by this Act, and shall be-
given access at all times to those offices; and
given all available information he or she may require with regard to the moneys and records regulated by this Act for the purpose of compliance with section 4 and sub-section (3) of this section.
Nothing in this Act or any regulations issued under it or any directive or instruction issued by the Minister, the Secretary to the Treasury or Accountant-General shall be construed as requiring any person to do anything in respect of any moneys held on trust, which contravenes or is inconsistent with the terms of that trust.
7. Designation, powers and duties of the Accountant-General.
(1) There shall be designated by the Public Service, an Accountant-General who shall be subject to the terms and conditions governing the Public Service.
(2) Subject to this Act, the Accountant-General shall be responsible for the-
compilation and management of the accounts of Government;
custody and safety of public money; and
resources of the Government, and
for that purpose, the Accountant-General may give general instructions to accounting officers which are consistent with this Act, or any regulations or instructions issued under it.
(3) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (2), the Accountant-General shall-
specify for every Government Ministry, department, fund, agency, local government or other reporting unit required to produce accounts under section 31-
the basis of the accounting to be adopted; and
the classification system to be used;
ensure that an appropriate system of account is established in each Government Ministry, department, fund, agency, or reporting unit which is compatible with the requirements of section 31 and which ensures that all money received and paid by the Government is brought promptly and properly to account;
ensure that the system of internal control in every Government Ministry, department, fund, agency, or other reporting unit required to produce accounts under section 31 is appropriate to the needs of the organisations concerned and conforms to internationally recognised standards;
ensure that the internal audit function in each Government Ministry, department, fund, agency, or other reporting unit required to produce accounts under section 31 is appropriate to the needs of the organisation concerned and conforms to internationally recognised standards in respect of its status and procedures;
refuse payment on any voucher which is wrong or deficient in content, or that contravenes the provisions of the Constitution or any regulations, directives or instructions properly made or given under this or any other law for the management of public money, or that is in any way unacceptable in support of a charge on public funds;
report to the Secretary to the Treasury in writing any apparent defect in departmental control of revenue, expenditure, cash, stores and other property of the Government and any breach or non-observance of any regulations, directives or instructions which may come or be brought to his or her notice;
ensure, as far as practicable, that adequate provisions exist for the safe custody of public money, property, securities and accountable documents; and
take precautions, by the maintenance of efficient checks, including surprise inspections, against the occurrence of fraud, embezzlement or mismanagement.
(4) Notwithstanding any authorisation by the Secretary to the Treasury under sub-section (7) of section 6, the Accountant General may inspect all offices of Government and shall be given-
access at all times to those offices; and
given all available information he or she may require or consider necessary for the purpose of enforcing compliance with paragraphs (a), (b), (c), (d), (g) and (h) of sub-section 3.
(5) The Accountant General shall report annually to the Secretary to the Treasury on the discharge of his or her duties under this Act, and in the reports required under section 31, shall identify -
(a) the basis of the standards required by paragraphs (b) and (c) of sub-section (3); and
(b) any defect, shortcoming or other factor which in his or her opinion has affected materially the Minister's responsibility under paragraph (c) of sub-section (1) of section 4.
(6) A copy of any report issued under subsection (5) shall be sent to the Auditor General.
8. Designation and duties of accounting officers.
The Secretary to the Treasury shall, with the prior approval of the Minister, designate an accounting officer by name and in writing.
An accounting officer shall control and be personally accountable to Parliament for the regularity and propriety of the expenditure of money applied by an expenditure vote or any other provision to any Ministry, department, fund, agency, local government or other entity funded wholly through the Consolidated Fund, and for all resources received, held or disposed of, by or on account of that Ministry, department, fund, agency, local government or other entity.
In the exercise of his or her duties under subsection (2), an accounting officer shall ensure in particular-
(a) that adequate control is exercised over the incurring of commitments;
(b) that effective systems of internal control and internal audit are in place in respect of all transactions and resources under his or her control; and
(c) in respect of paragraphs (a) and (b), that he or she complies with any instructions issued under this Act.
An accounting officer may, and shall, if so required by any regulations, instructions or directives issued under this Act, state in writing the extent to which the powers conferred and duties imposed on him or her, may be exercised or performed on his or her behalf by any public officer under his or her control, and shall give such directives as may be necessary to ensure the proper exercise or performance of those powers and duties.
Any delegation of the powers and duties of the Accounting Officer under sub-section (4) shall not affect the personal accountability of the accounting officer.
An accounting officer may, and shall if so required by the Minister, establish and maintain an audit committee which shall have such constitution, powers and duties as may be determined by the Minister.