A Brief to the General

Topics: Local government, Local Government Act 1972, Termination of employment Pages: 9 (2323 words) Published: September 15, 2013

A BRIEF TO THE STATE ATTORNEY On THE ISAGARA PATRICK (WO) VS BULISSA DLG CASE

BACK GROUND

Eng. Patrick Isagara was appointed on probation as a District Water Officer, scale u4, in 2009 and was assigned to act as the District Engineer (UIE) since the post was vacant. He was confirmed on the due date.

By June 2012, the working relationship between Mr. Isagara and Buliisa district Council had deteriorated, as he was accused of condoning shoddy work and even sanctioning payment for them, as well as general incompetence. In exercise of its mandate under Section 8 (d) of the Local Governments ( Financial and Accounting ) Regulations, 2007 a Committee of Buliisa district council invited Engineer Isagara to appear before it and explain the above issues of concern to them.

Under pressure, Mr. Isagara put his explanation in writing . On 15/6/2013 wrote a resignation letter, indicating his wish to resign with the effect from 1st July 2012. Under Section A-n of Government Standing Orders a public officer is required to give 30 days’ notice. Hence, this resignation letter was defective. Before his resignation could be accepted, Eng. Isagara vacated office and without a proper handing over, whereas a Public Officer is barred from leaving office until his/her application is approved. The absence of Engineer Isagara stalled the operations of the Works and Technical Services Department, as there was no leadership and essential records and working tools could not be accessed. To make matters worse, this was a critical time for finalizing the district work plan and budget for FY 2012/03. Under Section of Government Standing Orders, resignation of a Public Officer is not effective until it is approved by an Appointing Authority.

I joined the District as CAO on posting, and fully took over office on 12/7/2012 and found activities were at a stand still in the works department. Faced with the above situation, I tried to trace a copy of Eng. Isagara’s resignation letter in vain. I consulted the out -going CAO who informed me that he had not yet approved Eng. Isagara ‘s request for resignation, although he accepted having seen it. I rang Eng. Isagara several times in an effort to convince him to continue work. I requested him to submit a copy of his resignation letter, which he did not. I also explained to him that his resignation had not been accepted and was therefore in effective. Still, he remained uncooperative and turned me down. I was forced to assign Eng Sirajje to care take office of the district Engineer in order to provide leadership of the Department, ensure continuity and tackle urgent matters in the department and leave the office of Water Officer for Eng. Isagaara whom I still hoped would change his mind and resume work as the Water Officer. Even then, Eng. Isagara refused to come and hand over office until I threatened to report him to police. He eventually handed over office on 23rd July 2013.

By October 2012 when he was interdicted ,Mr Isagara was still an employee on the payroll of Buliisa

District Local Government, but his salary was being withheld since he was not physically working. Although he has opted to stay away from office, his resignation has never been accepted. He has not yet been declared by the Appointing Authority as having absconded from his duties because of the numerous and serious cases of misconduct that being investigated against him by other State Organs, at the conclusion of which he is likely to face a stern disciplinary action. He is therefore still subject to the Public Service Laws, regulations and procedures, under the overall supervision of the CAO. His staying away from office without authority was an act of indiscipline, that attracts disciplinary action under the public service laws, rules and regulations.,

SPECIFIC RESPONSES

1. MS KGN

a) Mandate of CAO

- Under Section of the Local Government Act, the CAO...
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