Parliament has approved the rationalisation of several government agencies, aiming at enhancing efficiency and optimizing resources.

In a plenary session chaired by Speaker Anita Among, on Wednesday 17 April 2024, Parliament passed five bills related to this rationalisation, including the Warehouse Receipt System (Amendment) Bill 2024, the Free Zones (Amendment) Bill 2024, the Uganda Exports Promotions Boards Act (Repeal) Bill 2024, the Uganda Wildlife Conservation Education Centre Act (Repeal) Bill 2024 and the Uganda Wildlife (Amendment) Bill 2024.

Additionally, the House debated and rationalised the Uganda National Meteorological Authority (Amendment) Bill 2024 and the National Commission for UNESCO (Amendment) Bill 2024 doing away with the board and the entity back to the Ministry of Education.

The Uganda National Meteorological Authority (Amendment) Bill 2024 proposed to amend the Uganda National Meteorological Authority Act, 2012, to integrate the functions of the authority into the Ministry of Water and Environment.

However, the report of the Committee on Environment, presented by Dr. Emmanuel Otaala, the Chairperson of the Committee recommended retaining UNMA as a semi-autonomous entity, emphasising its specialised role and capacity for self-sustainability.

Otaala highlighted UNMA’s critical functions in weather and climate monitoring, essential for early warning systems and addressing climate-related challenges.

“The Committee noted that UNMA’s roles are specialised and specific and not duplicated at the Ministry. It is therefore important to retain UNMA as an autonomous institution, while the Ministry focuses on development of policy,” Otaala said.

Despite the committee’s recommendation, some members objected to retaining UNMA as an independent entity, a move that would later lead to the return of the Agency to the Ministry of Water and Environment.

Prof. Elijah Mushemeza (NRM, Sheema County South) questioned the authority’s current financial performance and its effectiveness compared to when it operated as a department.

“We are seeing the proposal that it will generate income, but he has not tabled currently how much money is being generated by the Authority,” he said.

However, others, such as Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda (FDC, Kira Municipality), supported the government’s position, emphasising the need for efficient resource allocation.

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