Local Govt Workers Report Faulty Online Payment System

Uganda shilling notes. PHOTO/FILE

Kampala, Uganda | THE BLACK EXAMINER | Cold chain technicians and statisticians have said the Human Capital Management System (HCMS) being rolled out by the Ministry of Public Service to automate the human resource function, is faulty.

While this system, which is among others supposed to allocate workers’ pay is yet to be rolled out in some districts, Joseph Kiwanuka Kakande, a statistician from Jinja says there are complaints wherever HCMS is being used.

Kakande says that despite being employed as a scientist and his appointment letter stipulating his salary clearly, the system has paid them less and worse, holders of the same position in different districts are getting a different salary.

He says they have complained to the Ministry of Public Service but some district planners continue to be paid as high as sh6.5 million whereas others are being paid as low as sh1.2 million. He told URN in an interview on Monday that when they complained, they were told it’s the system that is paying and nothing much can be done about it.

The same concern is shared by Ivan Nalungu, a Cold Chain Technician who is supposed to ensure safe and proper storage of vaccines in Kumi district. He says while the HCMS is fairly new, they have been facing the same challenge of discrepancies in payment since 2017 when using the Programme Budgeting System for salaries.

He notes that he is supposed to get a U-5 medical salary but he has since been getting a U–6 salary which is not in line with the public service standing orders which stipulate that diploma-holder medical workers should earn a U-5 salary.

Nalungu says they have for the last five years been struggling to have this problem rectified but both the Ministries of Public Service and Health have not been helpful and have resolved to go to court. According to Hassan Mudiba, the General Secretary of the Uganda Local Government Workers Union that is leading the workers in the planned petition they want the court to give an order for all workers that have been cheated by the IT system to be re-funded.

Mudiba says while such systems initiated by the government might be well-intentioned to deal with the bureaucracies and other Human Resource challenges, they should be in tandem with the law and policies in place.

He says the union initially lodged a complaint about these discrepancies to the Ministry of Public Service on March 20th, 2023 but didn’t get a response from them.

Meanwhile, the HCMS which was launched in 2023 is being implemented in phases but according to the Ministry of Public Service, the plan is to have it integrate all the other existing government payment systems including the Integrated Financial Management System (IFMS), Programme Budgeting System (PBS), National Identification System (NID) and Payroll Deductions Management System (PDMS).

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