Parliament puts loss-making companies under spotlight

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Members of Parliament visit Graphic Systems in Luzira recently.

The Speaker of Parliament has asked the Institute of Corporate governance, to work closely with Parliament to establish minimum standards upon which businesses must be run in the country.

Speaking at their inaugural governance awards, Rebecca Kadaga said company law is something businesses take casually and yet it is a very critical corporate governance function which ensures that companies adhere to accountability and transparency practices but many companies bypass them and they end up crumbling.

“Things like filing annual returns, dividends, declaration of profits, filing notices for meetings, filing minutes for meetings, are examples of good governance practices which grow businesses,” she said adding these are practices which businesses take casually and it is the reason many of them are usually declaring losses because there are no records which auditors can rely on to save them from penalties of the tax man.

“These days, meetings are conducted on skype but how do you keep those minutes? Many things are taken for granted even notice for meetings are casual. We need to wake up to our responsibilities,” she said.

In her speech, Christine Kawooya the Chief Executive Officer Institute of Corporate Governance Uganda said Corporate governance is a fundamental block and engine of growth for any organization to succeed and also a catalyst for the country to attract foreign and direct investment.

“Corporate governance has become a necessary lever in creating efficient and competitive business enterprises and enhancing accountability in those entrusted with managing those organizations,” she said adding that unfortunately some of the companies surveyed this year, failed to win awards because of simple practices like keeping minutes of board meetings and other necessary records.

Joseph Balidawa the Institute president blamed the government for abandoning its institute saying the purpose of creating the institute was to promote good governance, transparency and accountability not only in public offices but also private and family-owned businesses to promote their expansion and growth.

“Corporate governance is not about the public sector but also private and family-run businesses to should embrace corporate governance, transparency, accountability. This is a not for profit institute,” he said.

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