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While the nation was lost in the noise of presidential campaigns, Cabinet was making final touches on the future of Uganda government agencies which will see over 20,000 officials lose jobs. Cabinet has received and noted a 3 year plan aimed at merging & consolidating a number of government institutions with a view of improving service delivery. When completed, the proposed reorganization will save government up to Shs 988 billion while at the same increasing efficiency.

Information Minister Judith Nabakooba has revealed that plans are underway to constitute an Inter Ministerial Technical Committee on merging and consolidating Government Agencies, Commissions, Authorities and Public Expenditure.

It was earlier understood that plans to merge authorities had been shelved due to intense pressure from donors and high ranking officials occupying top positions in government.

However, Nabakooba said Cabinet sitting on Monday at State House Entebbe received the proposed plan detailing a roadmap “that will be followed over a three-year period to reorganize a number of ministries and institutions with the view of improving service delivery.”

She said once completed, the reorganization of government entities will save government up to Shs 988bn annually while at the same time increasing efficiency.

The reorganization will see hundreds of workers lose jobs.

Nabakooba said that a circular will be issued to the Public Service communicating a freeze on the creation of new Agencies, Commissions and Authorities and providing guidance on the management of transition arrangements for Boards and Staff whose contracts expire in due course of rationalization.

“A change Management and Implementation Strategy will be developed and stakeholder engagement workshops will be conducted to prepare staff for the new changes,” said Nabakooba.

She emphasised that credentials of employees from the affected agencies that will be absorbed in the mainstream Public Service will be validated and that structures will be revised and the compensation of “personnel to be off boarded will be undertaken.”

The merging of institutions split public opinion with government officials in big positions resisting the move while members of the public supported the move as it would reduce the public administration expenditure.

Several ministries had also complained about the disparity in salaries.

A 2017 report by Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) showed some top officials earn three-to-twenty two times more than their counterparts in other public institutions.

For example, Solicitor General earns Shs 4.8m – about 9 per cent of the salary for Commissioner General in URA (Shs 40m) or 7 percent of what is earned by the Governor of the Central Bank (Shs 53m).

The causes of these disparities were varied in nature. In some cases, the disparities arose from provisions in the general guidelines for officers who are specified in the Constitution while others were special arrangements by Government aimed at attracting officers with special skills.

In some institutions, such as NITA, KCCA and NAADS, some deputies earn two-to-six times more than their counterparts in other public Institutions.

The salary disparities are alarming that some deputies in some institutions are required to work for several years to be able to earn what their counterparts earn in one year.

Nabakooba today stressed that all the affected employees will be compensated and salary structures for the merged agencies will be harmonized and mainstreamed with Public Service in accordance with the approved pay targets.

The revised structures of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and financial implications of the rationalization will be presented to Cabinet for approval.

The functions of Uganda National Roads Authority will return to the Works and Transport ministry. The Uganda Road Fund and Transport Licensing Board will also return to the Works and Transport ministry.

Others that will be disbanded are Uganda Registration Services Bureau, Uganda Electricity Generation Co Limited, Uganda Electricity Transmission Co Limited, Uganda Electricity Distribution Co Limited, and Rural Electrification Agency.

Full List below

Government agencies, commissions and authorities to be merged

Agencies under the Accountability Sector approved to be merged;

  1. Insurance Regulatory Authority, Uganda Retirement Benefits
  2. Regulatory Authority and Uganda Microfinance Regulatory Authority merged to create specialized directorates for nonbank supervision within the Bank of Uganda.

Agencies under the Trade and Investment Sector approved to b Merged

  • Uganda Investment Authority,
  • Enterprise Uganda Foundation Limited
  • Uganda Free Zone Authority merged to create specialized departments under the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development.
  • Uganda Exports Promotion Board should be collapsed into a department under the Ministry of Trade Industry and Cooperatives.

Agencies under the Tourism and Wildlife Sector to be merged;

  • Uganda Wildlife Education Centre Trust (UWECT),
  • Uganda Tourist Board (UTB)
  • Uganda Wildlife Authority and Uganda Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary should be collapsed into specialized departments under the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife, and

Agencies under the Education Sector to be merged

  • National Council of Higher Education, National Curriculum Development and Directorate of Industrial Training should be merged into one Council.

Agencies across the Health, Public Management, and Agriculture

Sectors to be merged

  • National Animal Genetic Resource Centre and Data Bank (NAGRIC) and the National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO) should be merged under Policy and Administration, but create separate departments to handle specialized areas.
  • Uganda Cancer Institute and Uganda Heart Institute should be merged and returned to Mulago Specialized Hospital as Directorates and staff Salaries duly enhanced to retain them.
  • Virus Research Institute, National Chemotherapeutic Research Institute, and Joint Clinical Research Centre should be merged under the Uganda National Health Research Organization.
  • Uganda Nurses and Midwives Council, Allied Health Professional Council, Medical and Dental Practitioners Council and Pharmaceutical Society of Uganda should be merged to create one council with specialized departments to handle specialized areas.

Agencies under the Public Sector Management; Lands, Housing and Urban Development and Accountability to be merged;

  • National Population Council, Economic Policy and Research Centre merged to integrate the functions of both autonomous and Semi-autonomous planning Agencies and Boards into the National Planning Authority.
  • National Physical Planning and Metropolitan Physical Planning Authority should be merged into a department under the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development.

Public Service Commission, Health Service Commission,

  • Education Service Commission, approved to be merged into one Public Service Commission with specialized Departments to handle Public Servants under respective specialized areas.

Agencies to be merged under the Works and Infrastructure Development

  • Uganda National Roads Authority should be collapsed into a department under the Ministry of Works and Transport.

Agencies to be merged under the Ministry of Internal Affairs

  • NIRA
  • Uganda NGO Registration Board

Agencies to be merged under the Ministry of Energy and Mineral

  • Development UEGCL, UETCL, UEDCL and REA

Agencies whose functions are to be mainstreamed back to the sector ministries

Agencies under the Accountability Sector to be mainstreamed back into sector Ministries

  • Non-Performing Assets Recovery Trust;
  • Non-Performing Assets Recovery Tribunal;
  • Departed Asians’ Property Custodian Board
  • National Lotteries Board
  • Uganda Energy Credit and Capitalization Company Limited
  • Uganda Energy Credit and Capitalization Company Limited

Agencies under the Trade and Investment Sector to be mainstreamed

  • Uganda Commodities Exchange
  • The Uganda Warehouse Receipt System Authority

Agencies under the Justice Law and Order Sector to be Mainstreamed

  • Amnesty Commission; National Citizenship and Immigration Control; Centre for Alternative Dispute Resolution; Uganda Registrations services Bureau;(M/J&CA)

Agencies under the Public Sector Management to be mainstreamed

  • National Records and Archives Agency;

Agencies under the Agriculture Sector to be Mainstreamed

National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS); Uganda Trypanosomiasis Control Council; Diary Development Authority; Uganda Coffee Development Authority; Uganda Cotton Development Organization; Uganda Livestock Industries Limited; Uganda Seeds Limited

Agencies under the Energy Sector to be Mainstreamed

  • Uganda Atomic Energy Council

Electricity Disputes Tribunal; Agencies under the Education Sector to be Mainstreamed

  • Students Financing Board; National Library of Uganda;

Agencies under the Water and Environment Sector to be Mainstreamed

  • National Forestry Authority; Uganda National Meteorological Authority;

Ministry of Health

  • Uganda Blood Transfusion Services (b) Uganda AIDS Commission.

Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development

  • Uganda Land Commission

Ministry of Works and Transport

  • National Roads Safety Boards (b) Transport Licensing Boards (C) Uganda Road Fund