The Chairperson – Mrs. Sylvia Muwebwa Ntambi, Member Joel Cox Ojuko and staff of the Equal Opportunities Commission met the Deputy Speaker of Parliament – Hon. Jacob Oulanya on 3rd May 2017 at the Deputy Speaker’s chambers. The purpose of the meeting was to brief him on the assessment findings of the Ministerial Policy Statements (MPSs) Financial Year 2017/2018, challenges encountered during the assessments and the recommendations made to the respective Ministries, Departments and Agencies.
In response to Mrs. Ntambi’s remarks, the Deputy Speaker proposed that the issue of late submission of Ministerial Policy Statements can be addressed by involving the Commission in the development process of the Budget Framework Papers to build capacity of MDAs at that stage. He also inquired if it is better for the Commission to assess Budget Framework Papers and leave the Ministerial Policy Statements unassessed.
Mrs. Ntambi handing over the Commission’s report on the compliance of Budget Framework Papers to Hon. Jacob Oulanya.
Prior to the meeting, the Commission’s delegation met the Budget Committee of Parliament at Parliamentary building to brief them on the assessment findings on compliance of Ministerial Policy Statements with Gender and Equity requirements Financial Year 2017/2018 in order to keep them abreast with the Commission’s work. The meeting was attended by the Chairperson of the budget committee – Hon. Amos Lugoloobi, Hon. Felix Kulayigye, Hon. Patrick Nsamba Oshobe and many other Committee Members.
Speaking in response to the Commission’s presentation, the Chairperson to the budget Committee pledged to ensure MDAs whose Ministerial Policy Statements did not meet the minimum requirements will not have their budgets approved. He requested the Commission to closely work with Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development to ensure planning for Gender and Equity issues is included in the annual budget performance report to enable MDAs plan from the initial stage. The Commission was requested to address discriminatory complaints of local companies whose proprietors claim Government denies them contracts in favor of foreign investors.
Hon. Lugoolobi – Chairperson to the Parliamentary Budget Committee making remarks during the meeting.
Due to the non-compliance of Missions abroad, it was proposed that the Commission sensitizes them on the importance of Gender and Equity planning and budgeting to enable them improve performance in FY 2018/2019. The pass mark of 50% to the responsiveness of key performance issues to Gender and Equity was said to be low. The Committee further expressed concern over the absence of females in the leadership of some Local Governments and showed interest in the team which conducts the assessment.
In conclusion, the Committee pledged to take action on non-compliant institutions and make consultations with sectors to ensure the Commission’s budget allocation is boosted.
Mrs. Ntambi informed the Committee that the Commission in conjuction with the Initiative for Social and Economic Rights (ISER) were conducting research on the treatment of employees among Sugar factories. She expressed the Commission’s commitment in assessing Local Governments and the private sector but it is limited by unavailability of funds. She also briefed them on the composition of the assessment team of the Budget Framework Papers and Ministerial Policy Statements.