NRM Legislators Unanimously Support Revived Bill on Government Agencies Merger
The National Resistance Movement (NRM) Parliamentary Caucus has unanimously agreed to back the revived omnibus Bill on the rationalization of government agencies, as per the resolution from a caucus meeting with President Museveni. The decision comes after Parliament rejected the Rationalization of Government Agencies (Repeals and Amendments) Bill in November 2023.
The rejected Bill had proposed returning at least 33 government agencies to their mother ministries or scrapping them to address the current high cost of administration. However, legislators argued against the omnibus approach, stating that the affected entities were created by different acts of parliament and scrutinized by various sectoral committees.
Government Chief Whip Mr. Hamson Obua confirmed that, after discussions with the President and the Minister of Public Service, the NRM MPs reached a consensus to support the re-enactment of the Bill. The Cabinet plans to present an omnibus Bill, but parliamentary committees will issue independent regulations on each affected agency.
Among the agencies set to be affected by the merger are the Equal Opportunities Commission and the Uganda Human Rights Commission, as well as the Uganda Coffee Development Authority and the Dairy Development Authority, which are slated to return to the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry, and Fisheries. Other entities include the National Information Technology Authority of Uganda, Uganda National Roads Authority, and the National Identification Registration Authority.
President Museveni emphasized on social media that the merger process would annually reduce government operating costs by at least Shs1 trillion. Some voices, including Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago, advocate for a holistic approach to rationalization, addressing issues such as the size of the Cabinet and Parliament.