UGANDA: AG to review @SGS_SA contract for influence peddling, graft
KAMPALA (@UG_EDGE) – The Attorney General, William Byaruhanga, has requested Parliament for time to study the contract between the government of Uganda and SGS (Societe Generale de Surveillance), the motor vehicle inspection firm.
This followed debate on the report of the Committee on Physical Infrastructure where a majority of legislators unanimously supported the minority report, which recommended the termination of the contract with SGS citing fraud.
The debate on the report entered its second day on Wednesday, 14th February 2018 at a sitting of the House chaired by the Speaker Rebecca Kadaga.
Byaruhanga said that the report pointed out a lot of fraudulent issues and shortcomings concerning the contract with SGS that needed to be carefully examined.
“Members have raised concern with the fact that the contract was generated by an officer in the Ministry and simply passed on for signature to the Solicitor General. The law requires that a contract between the government and any other party be reviewed and authorised by the Office of the Auditor General.
He said that the area worth noting is to do with fraud.
“The originating institution is actually required to come up with the proposal and we review the legality. The issue though is whether the engineer who was in charge, Denis Sabiti, involved the Ministry before sending it,” Byaruhanga added.
Hon. Lyandro Komakech (Gulu Municipality) said that there is a trend of financial engineering and some people engaged in the vice are unfortunately in Parliament.
“This is an economic agenda for some of these people, evident in the pricing of units. A bus pays Ushs 40,000 which is half the price of what private cars are charged and it is clear that the logic is to maximise profits,” he said.
Hon. Jack Wamanga Wamai (Mbale Municipality) said that SGS is rotten and the Inspector General of Government should step in to curb the situation.
“I went to have my car checked and I found a small washing bay established with people telling me to first have the car washed before it can go in; I found that set up opportunistic,” he noted.
Hon. Gaster Mugoya (Bukooli North) said that the contract is illegal because it was not enough for Sabiti to peruse the contract before forwarding it to the Solicitor General for signing.
“The Minister also concedes that Sabiti, who was charged with drafting the contract, went ahead to oversee it without the input of the Ministry,” he said.
Mugoya said the contract was originated with the intention of fraudulent acquisition of funds.
Vehicle inspection contractor, Societe Generale De Surveillance (SGS), has confirmed that it hired Rubanda West MP Denis Sabiiti as a consultant. In what MPs say was a case of conflict of interest, Dubois confirmed that Eng Denis Sabiiti, then working as chairman of the Contracts Management committee in the ministry of Works and Transport, was hired by SGS as a consultant from July 17, 2015 to May 17, 2016.