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Auditor General's Report Rips Into Outdated NIRA

Auditor General’s Report Rips Into Outdated NIRA

The Auditor General’s latest report has revealed that forty-one entities “connect and share” citizenry data from the National Security Information System (NSIS) despite not having a memorandum of understanding with the National Identification Registration Authority (Nira).

The NSIS was first implemented by the Directorate of Citizenship and Immigration Control (DCIC) under the auspices of the Internal Affairs ministry. It cost the taxpayer €64.231 million (about Shs256 billion). The Auditor General’s report for the Financial Year 2021/2022 spotlighted several “glaring issues” with the NSIS. The NSIS is among several NIRA internal systems that were called into question, with the report’s findings dismayed by the outdated approach used by the government agency.

NIRA apparently still relies on humans to manually record, capture and upload the data of applicants.

“There were no SLA (Service Level Agreements) between NIRA with various providers of the critical systems used within the organization. This includes NSIS, the Mobile Vital Records System and the Birth Death Adoption and Registration (BDAR) system,” the report reads in part.

On January 1, 2016, NIRA started discharging duties such as registration of births, deaths, and adoption. These were previously entrusted to the care of the Uganda Registration Bureau Services Bureau (URSB).

The shade the latest Auditor General report paints of the agency is of an agency stuck in a time warp.

“There are unnecessary delays in the transfer of information from the registration kit to the server. The filled data is uploaded onto the server at the end of the day if not week. This depends on the availability of the information technology officer (ITO)/ district registration officer (DRO),” the report revealed.

It added: “The upload of a filled application to the central server is done using a flash disk. This is prone to theft and errors at the enrolment and processing/decoding using the manual server upload.”

The agency has failed to automate its information-sharing processes. This is despite the heavy investments in ICT solutions. The report reckons, sticks out like the metaphorical sore thumb.

It specifically highlights the process of “registering childbirth for birth certificates [where] the registration officer re-keys the child and parent’s information into the BDAR system yet the same information is resident in NSIS.”

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