Pension and gratuity management and payment has been fully decentralized. This means that now different votes under their jurisdiction will initiate the process of pensioners and retirees employee’s records to access their benefits at the respective institutions they would have retired from in order to get their benefits from government without necessarily submitting files to public service like it has been in the past.
This remark was made by the State Minister for Public Service David Karubanga while officiating at this function at Naguru Police Headquarters in Kampala. Meanwhile he said under full decentralization processing of retirement benefits, pension file can now be completed within 30 thirty minutes. Also informed the gathering that the ministry has reduced the online computerized business process for processing of pension and gratuity to only four 4 steps and removed a number of redundant off the system processes.
The minister underscored the importance of full decentralization of pension and gratuity management and payment to different votes as a means of ensuring easy access, timely and prompt payment of retirees’ benefits. In other words these actions has brought services closer to the retiring Officers.
On failure for responsible Officers to comply to the Pension policy among the sanctions would be removal of responsibility of Accounting Officer, demotion and prosecution for extortion of money and soliciting or taking bribes.
Earlier on, the Permanent Secretary Catherine Bitarakwate Musingwiire highlighted the different progressive steps the ministry has undertaken in order to improve the pension processing, management, and payment of salary to Ministries, Government departments Agencies and Local Governments.
Bitarakwate said these included “computerization of Human Resource Management functions, decentralization of the processing, management and payment of salary, Payroll cleaning and biometric data validation of all civil servants to eliminate ghost, migration of pension records from the legacy system to the integrated Personnel and Payroll System (IPPS) among others.”
She added that full decentralization of pension processing, management, and payment is governed by the cardinal principles of; “clear segregation of roles and responsibilities among business users, timeliness, transparency and Accountability for actions on the part of the business users.”
She also said that sixty five (65) votes had been prepared to take on the decentralization role through training and the balance of the one hundred fifty eight (158) have to undergo the same process of training when resource are availed in order to take on the new role and as planned by June 2019 all votes would be ready for decentralized.
In a related development the Assistant Commissioner Compensation Victor Bua Leku, Ministry of Public Service warned Institutions from initiating records of about and above five years of retiring Officers into the system to access their benefits without getting clearance from the Ministry.
Bua said this has been agreed upon as a check measure to desist from double payment of already retirees whose records could be under the legacy system before migration and to keep the Ministry role of supervision and being the pension Authority by Law.
While delivering a speech on behalf of the Inspector General of Police Edward Ochom Director Research and Planning hailed the Ministry for the initiative of decentralization of Pension and gratuity management and payment to retiring Officers that will go a long way to solve he Police force problems that it has been experiencing of cumbersome and delayed benefits access by Officers.
Ochom said the force has about 3500 pensioners and every year over 500 officers for various reasons retire from the force. He said this is timely for it will not only quicken the process but retiring officers will get their benefit on time.
The fact that a retired officer can access his/her benefits within the next month of retirement is wonderful and only need to be sustained and standardized. This decentralization of pension and gratuity management and payment will minimize the alleged corruption and extortion of money.
Uganda Police Force was the Institution that was selected and launched the decentralization of pension management and payment to 223 votes in Uganda by the Ministry of Public Service.