The Auditor General has ordered the Luwero District to recover over 150 million shillings which were overpaid to civil servants.

In his report for the financial year 2020/21, the Auditor General John FS Muwanga says that he noted a number of anomalies during the review of the district pension & salary payrolls among them over payment of salary worth shillings 150 million.

He however didn’t reveal the number of beneficiaries but directed the district to recover the money.

But URN has learnt from the district that over 100 civil servants including teachers, health workers and local government staff benefited from the over payment.

Bernard Okello, the Luwero District Human Resource Officer says that the over payment accumulated within two financial years of 2019/20 and 2020/21 because of a problem with the Integrated Personnel and Payment System.

Okello explained that they upload the exact amount of salaries on the Integrated Personnel and Payment System that should be paid to each staff but the process was not successful and canceled.

“However late we learned that the payments were successful and the staff had got double payments. We discovered the error and notified the Auditors that we shall recover the money in installments,” says Okello.

He further explained that they have already embarked on the process of recovering the money from each staff who got double payment and they hope to complete it before June this year.

“We are doing the deductions carefully because some of the affected staff had loans and we don’t want to fail to take home anything as we recover the money. We have spread the deductions according to someone’s net pay but by June, we shall be done” added Okello.

Isaac Wampamba, the Luwero District Finance and Planning Secretary says that the staff who benefited in the anomaly were notified and they don’t expect any to complain when deductions are being done to recover them.

“I interacted with some of the staff that benefited from the double payment and I explained to them that this was not a bonanza but a system error. They have accepted that money be recovered from their salaries, ” says Wampamba.

Some staff had reportedly denied receiving double payment, but the district challenged them to produce original bank statements to justify their claims, however, none submitted any.

In the same report, the Auditor General faulted Luwero district officials for failure to submit wage estimates to Ministry of Public Service, under/over remittance of employee salaries worth shillings 165,627,734 and shs 37,026,373 respectively among other anomalies.

The integrated Personnel and Payroll System which is a computerized Human Resource Management Information System is now being used in 242 government agencies and local governments. It is used to process salary, pension and gratuity.

But in his report, Auditor-General observed that several challenges have persisted in the management of payroll in the districts since it was introduced. He listed the challenges as over and underpayments, unrealistic budgeting for employees and pension costs, under absorption of wage funds, delayed access to the payroll, , non-payment of salary and pension arrears, among others.

In the financial year 2014/15, Nakaseke district also paid salaries over and above the authorized salary scales.

Over 160 district staff were paid above their salaries in variance of between 40,000 and 310,000 shillings. He ordered the CAO to recover the money. URN

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