A team of Lira University delegates and secretary
A team of Lira University delegates appearing before the committee. FILE PHOTO

Lira University secretary held responsible for not remitting taxes worth UGX 30m.

The Lira University secretary has been held accountable for failing to solicit over UGX 30 million in taxes.

She was held accountable while appearing before the Parliamentary, Public Accounts Committee in presence of other delegate members from Lira University led by Mr Augustine Oyang – Atubo accounting officer.

The Public Accounts Committee was responding to the audit queries for FY 2018/19 and it resolved to hold the University Secretary responsible for failing to remit over shillings 30 million in taxes.

According to the Auditor General, the University did not remit Pay as You Earn tax (PAYE) of Shillings 31.73 million deducted from the payment of housing and top-up allowances of Shillings 105.79 million. 

Also, the auditor general noted that the failure to meet the requirements as required by her office attracts not only fines but also penalties which may impact negatively on service delivery by the University.

The Auditor general remarked in the presence of a team of members from Lira University led by Mr Augustine Oyang and other delegates from the University including the University deputy bursar Francis Adrapi.

Also, in attendance was the Mbarara Municipality legislator, Michael Tusiime. He argued that as a statutory obligation that takes priority, there cannot be arrears on salary payments unless the salary was not paid.

Mr.Tusiime as a way forward put the Lira bursar to the task to explain where all the PAYE deductions had been allocated because all workers salaries were paid and as a result, the money had to be deducted.

In defence, the University deputy bursar, Francis Adrapi mentioned that the University was not given enough disbursements from Non-Tax Revenue (NTR) of Shillings 152 million which it had remitted to the treasury and as a result, it was not able to take care of its statutory obligations.

Tusiime who was first to rubbish the bursar’s excuse said that the disbursements every quarter are based on remission of NTR to the Consolidated Fund and as such the university did not receive disbursements because it did not remit money.

As a way forward, Tusiime made it clear that the money has to be returned and as well, the penal tax for failing to remit the funds must be deducted from the accounting officer.

A team of Lira University delegates and secretary
A team of Lira University delegates appearing before the committee. FILE PHOTO

According to the PAC vice-chairperson Okin Ojara, the Lira University Secretary and the bursar should be held accountable and they must recover the money.

Ojara told the University delegates that they will be notified through the committee clerk on the next course of action in handling the issue.

Meanwhile, the financial statements of the University indicated that UGX. 84 million was allocated towards payment of arrears however, the cash flow statement for the year in question indicated an amount of 443 million was paid during the year.