BOU Souvenir Pens Sent to UNBS for Authentication Top story

3486 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
The decision was made today by parliaments committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises-COSASE. It follows queries that the Central Bank flouted procurement laws when it spent 125 million Shillings to purchase 350 pens in financial year 2016/2017.

Samples of Golden Jubilee cross pens purchased by the central bank will be forwarded to Uganda National Bureau of Standards-UNBS and the Auditor General for authentication.

The decision was made today by parliaments committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises-COSASE. It follows queries that the Central Bank flouted procurement laws when it spent 125 million Shillings to purchase 350 pens in financial year 2016/2017. 

The pens were supplied by Aristoc Booklex Limited as souvenirs for distribution to distinguished guests during the Central Bank's Golden Jubilee celebrations held last year. Samples of these were today, presented before the committee, alongside reports and contracts for over 17 items procured in preparation for the event.

However, committee chairperson Abdu Katuntu questioned the authenticity of the pens that were tabled. The pens, black in color and packed in gold coated boxes, were passed around to committee members who in unison stated that the product appeared too ordinary for the quoted price.

Katuntu said that the pens would be taken to UNBS, the government body mandated to protect the public against dangerous and sub-standard products. He said that UNBS will work jointly with the auditor general to verify the standard, authenticity and pricing of the pens to aid ongoing investigations into the procurement.
 
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Cue out:…Cross pens genuine"//
 
Genuine Cross pens are supplied by A. T. Cross, the largest and oldest manufacturer of writing instruments in the United States. Cross has been an official supplier of pens to the White House since at least the 1970s, according to its profile posted online.

It is reported that all U.S. presidents from Ronald Reagan to Donald Trump have signed legislation using Cross pens. Most Cross writing instruments are made in China, although some of the work for customized pens for presidents and politicians is done in New England.

 

About the author

Alex Otto
“Journalism that changes lives is my goal,” Alex Otto has said on more than one occasion. That is his career’s guiding principle. Has been since he was a radio journalist in the northern Ugandan town of Gulu in 2009.

Otto passionately believes his journalism should bring to the fore the voices of the voiceless like the shooting victims of Apaa. Otto tries in his journalism to ask tough questions to those in positions of authority.

Based in the Kampala bureau, Otto is especially interested in covering agriculture, politics, education, human rights, crime, environment and business. He has reported intensively on the post-conflict situation in northern Uganda.

A URN staff member since 2014, Otto previously worked with The Observer Newspaper from 2012 to 2013 and later the Institute for War and Peace Reporting IWPR based in Gulu.

He was the URN Gulu bureau chief 2014-2016.