HomePARLIAMENTGovernment Fails to collect over 42billion From anti Corruption cases.

Government Fails to collect over 42billion From anti Corruption cases.

By Jimmy Muhumuza, 

Parliament.

Government has failed to collect over 42 billion shillings from court orders made to refund proceeds of corrupt practices by persons convicted.

This has been revealed by the auditor general’s report for the financial year ending June 2021.

The auditor general says that under Section 10(4) of the Anti-Corruption Act, provides that in addition to any other penalty imposed upon conviction on a person order that person to make good the loss occasioned to the property; and the value of the property or damage to the property shall constitute a civil debt from the person to the Government or public body concerned and shall be recoverable from that person. 

 The auditor general notes that a review of decisions from the Anti-corruption Division of the High Court revealed that on several instances, the court has made orders as to refund of proceeds of corrupt practices by persons convicted. The following were observed; 

 ‘A sample of the cases reviewed revealed that a total of UGX.24,734,116,888 is outstanding as a result of decisions of the courts for refund of proceeds of corrupt practices but these are not provided for in the consolidated accounts as receivable’. 

 The auditor general has also revealed that In his 2019/20 report for the DPP, I also observed that a total of UGX.18,940,206,109 remained uncollected despite the setup of a department within the Office of the DPP responsible for enforcing the recovery of compensation orders. 

 The gaps in the collection were partly attributed to the lack of a clear mandate to the DPP, especially in so far as recoveries of the compensation would require civil processes which are outside the mandate of the criminal mandate of the Office of the DPP. 

 Whereas the mandate of recovery would be a reserve of the Attorney General who is vested with the mandate to litigate civil matters, it was noted that the ODDP has in place a unit for recovery of funds arising out of prosecutions in DPP while IGG also has another. 

 Failure to enforce the recovery of court orders denies the government the funds that should have been generated and undermines the objective of recovering losses incurred by the government due to corrupt practices. 

It is therefore important that the Government comes up with a regulatory framework that addresses the inadequate legislation on recovery of proceeds of crime, provide for civil asset recovery, detailed procedures in conviction based recovery, asset management, and disposal, recovery of consequential benefits, and how to apply the recovered proceeds, among others. 

The Accounting Officer responded that the Ministry had initiated consultations with the Office of DPP, IGG, and Attorney General for the establishment of comprehensive procedures for recovery of proceeds of crime, provide for civil asset recovery, provide for detailed guidelines in conviction based recovery, provide for asset management and disposal, recovery of consequential benefits including the application of the recovered proceeds. 

 I await the outcome of the consultations.

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