Members of Parliament have asked the National Planning Authority (NPA) to fast track the development of the National Spatial Data Portal.
The Portal is a system intended to integrate data from all government ministries, departments and agencies to inform the planning process.
MPs say lack of the planning portal is responsible for the mushrooming of industries in residential areas.
Legislators raised the concern while meeting the NPA Executive Director, Dr. Joseph Muvawala, who was appearing before the Committee on Finance, Planning and Economic Development on Friday, 19th January 2018.
Hon. James Acidri (Maracha East) said that it has been over a year since NPA was tasked with developing the National Spatial Data Portal and no significant progress had been made.
“By the time the planning Authority implements the policy, it will be expensive because land would have already been fragmented; this will cost the country a lot of funds,” said Acidri.
Muvawala told the Committee that the delay has been caused by the need to standardize data from different sectors.
“As we develop the Policy, we are also working on standardizing the data such that in the next few months, you can visit the portal and draw a map,” said Muvawala.
Muvawala asked Parliament to make it mandatory for sectors to present their plans before their budgets are presented. He said that failure by Ministries Departments and Agencies to present their plans poses a big challenge in the planning process.
He noted that although there has been progress in the planning process, the authority is still grappling with MDAs that fail to present their plans. He said that in FY 2016/2017, 145 districts out of 162 had plans; 84 MDAs out of 127 had plans; and 14 sectors out 16 presented plans.
“We are begging that the Rules of Procedure be tweaked to direct that unless a sector has a plan, their budget should not be considered,” said Muvawala.