Taxpayers could cough up over Shs530bn in legal claims against govt agencies

The biggest pending legal bill has been accrued by Uganda National Roads Authority with a projection of Shs430 billion in contingent liabilities.

Follow: @Crime24UG

AUDIT | Taxpayers will be footing the burden of paying out at least Shs530 billion should government agencies lose legal battles they are embroiled in, Auditor General John Muwanga has revealed.

Muwanga cited ongoing court cases by four entities with estimated legal costs amounting to billions of shillings. The outcomes of the cases are still uncertain.

Sendo Cleaners

According to the 2018 audit report, released last week, among these entities include Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) Kampala Capital City Authority and National Social Security Fund (NSSF) — whose contingent liability has been outstanding for over two years.

The biggest pending legal bill has been accrued by Uganda National Roads Authority with a projection of Shs430 billion in contingent liabilities.

In the breakdown, National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS) has 15 pending court cases with Shs18 billion in legal costs, while the estimated costs for outstanding court cases for the Kampala Sanitation Programme (KSP) that is being managed by National Water and Sewerage Cooperation with projected legal costs amounting to Shs1.3 billion.

The impending legal suits on disputed compensation claims for KCCA is Shs39 billion while NSSF has one pending case in tax dispute with URA leaving the entity with legal costs amounting to Shs42.2 billion.

Muwanga warned that the eventual determination and/or payment of these legal costs could negatively affect the cash flows and ability of the concerned entities to continue as going concerns.

The auditor-general cautioned management of the entities to always ensure due diligence in carrying out their work to safeguard against litigation and consequential unfavourable outcomes.

Most public agencies that are sued for claims end up losing cases with a state attorney recently telling this news website in confidence that some officials connive with claimants to lose the cases and partake in the awards.

Although the attorney’s claims were directly concerning legal disputes brought against the state, it left little to imagination about how much more the “lucrative compensation sector” would offer corrupt officials in government.

According to Human Rights Watch, corruption undermines human rights in multiple ways: a direct defiance of the rule of law and accountability, it indicates that the law and its institutions cannot be relied on to protect against violations of fundamental human rights or deliver justice.

“By unlawfully interfering with resources that should be available to realise fundamental rights such as the rights to health, water, food, and education—either through illegally appropriating public funds for personal wealth or rendering access to services subject to bribes, which are illegal—corruption leads to violations of human rights that may have disastrous consequences,” the UN organisation says.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.

three × 2 =