Social watch workshop ugandaPresentation Transcript
SOCIAL WATCH WORKSHOP TRANSPARENCY AND ACCOUNTABILITY INITIATIVES: UGANDAN PERSPECTIVE By: Emmanuel Oluka [email_address]
Civil Society has started a number of initiatives.
CEW-IT is a loose consortium of 5 partners members operating in 29 Districts in Uganda ; RWECO, PAC, ACORD, CEFORD, DENIVA. Consortium started last year with 4 members to monitor the electoral process and now is involved in monitoring governance and social accountability. The monitoring is done by both traditional methods and use of ICT. For more details about CEW-IT http://cewit.or.ug
What is Transparency?
Transparency as used in science , engineering , business , the humanities and in a social context more generally, implies openness, communication, and accountability . Transparency is operating in such a way that it is easy for others to see what actions are performed.
Accountability is a concept in ethics and governance with several meanings. It is often used synonymously with such concepts as responsibility , answerability, blameworthiness , liability , and other terms associated with the expectation of account-giving. As an aspect of governance , it has been central to discussions related to problems in the public sector , nonprofit and private ( corporate ) worlds
In leadership roles, accountability is the acknowledgment and assumption of responsibility for actions, products , decisions, and policies including the administration , governance, and implementation within the scope of the role or employment position and encompassing the obligation to report, explain and be answerable for resulting consequences.
What initiatives has the Ugandan government has put in place to promote Transparency and Accountability?
ACTIONS BY GOVERNMENT
Barazas (Public Dialogues)
Participatory planning and budgeting
Institutions for Accountability (IGG, OAG, PAC)
RDCs (Monitoring of government programs)
PPDA (At Central Government & District)
Publication of Government financial transfers in the media
Monitoring by the LCs
In an attempt to bring services more closer to the wanainchi and in conformity with LG Statute of 1993, the 1995 constitution provided for the decentralization of power to local government as lower governments and administrative units
The LG Councils have political, legislative, judicial, and administrative power and they are corporate bodies with perpetual power of succession with power to sue and be sued in their corporate names
Key Objectives of Decentralization
Transfer real power to LGs, reducing workload of central government
Establish decentralization as a guiding principle applied to all levels of gov’t so as to ensure citizens participation & democratic control in decision making
Achieve good governance
Bring political and administrative control of services to the wanainchi there by improving accountability and effectiveness of programs and projects implemented in their areas
Free local managers from central constraints as along term goal to develop organizational structures tailored to local circumstances
Improve capacities of councils to plan, finance and manage the delivery of services to their constituencies
Article 1 of the 1995 Consitution: “…… All power belongs to the people”.
Chapter 4 provides for the fundamental rights eg freedom to assemble
Article 41 (1) : Access to information
Articles 164: Accountability component
It also provides for the enactment of the enabling laws to devolve power to the people( LG Act) ,
3) Regular Elections
Uganda conducts elections every 5 years and the last being held this year in May. Regular elections are tailored to give citizens opportunity for other leaders to come on board. It’s a check in itself for performance
4) Barazas (Public Dialogues)
Public dialogues of issues concerning citizens in various forums. Parliamentary sessions here are an evidence example with the recent oil debate bringing a lot of attention.
Bringing parliament close to the people; parliamentarians visit different localities for public hearing and debates
5) Participatory planning and budgeting
This has been incorporated in the LG structure. This has brought together all stakeholders in the budgeting and planning process.
Involvement of the special interest groups
6) Institutions for Accountability (IGG, OAG, PAC )
The Institutions are setup by an act of Parliament. Each performing a specific task;
IGG: Core Mandate is to eliminate corruption, promote and foster the rule of law and principles of natural justice in public offices and enforce the Leadership Code of Conduct.
OAG: The Office of the Auditor General is headed by the Auditor General of Uganda. The Auditor General is an independent authority appointed under Article 163 of the Constitution of Uganda. The scope of his powers, duties and responsibilities are derived from the Constitution 1995 of the Republic of Uganda , the National Audit Act 2008, the Public Finance and Accountability Act 2003 and the Local Authorities Act 1997.OAG Core role is to audit and report to the public and thereby make an effective contribution in improving public accountability"
Legal Mandate of PAC
Public Accounts Committee is one of the various Committees of Parliament of Uganda established and empowered to function under Article 90 of the 1995 Constitution of the Republic of Uganda.
The Parliamentary Rules of Procedure, and the Constitution, give Committees of Parliament powers of the High Court to:
Enforce the attendance of witnesses and examining them on oath, affirmation or otherwise;
Compel the production of documents;
Issue a commission or request to examine witnesses abroad;
Confine for any specific period recalcitrant/uncooperative witnesses; and
Cite any person by name for contempt of Parliament.
PAC has structures at the Districts Levels.
7) RDCs (Resident District Commissioners)
RDCs are representatives of the President at District Level. Their core mandate and role is to monitor government programs and report to the president.
The role of RDCs as enshrined in Article 203 of the Constitution, S.71 and S.72 of the Local Government Act is to monitor the implementation of socio-economic government
programmes and to act as Chairperson of the security committee in the district.
Where is the civil society in the promotion of Transparency and Accountability?
CSO Accountability & Transparency Mechanisms:
National Anti-Corruption Strategy: CSO anti corruption CSOs eg ACCU – a national anti corruption convention in in the process
Monitoring and reporting of service delivery (PETS, Scorecards (parliamentary, LG etc)
Transparency International Indices
Social Accountability Forums at Village, S/C, District and National level)
1) National Anti-Corruption Strategy: CSO anti corruption CSOs
This is a strategy developed by CSO to hold corrupt officials accountable by voicing what they have done, and also sometimes taking them to courts of law. A recent example is the return our money campaign case in the constitutional court
2) Monitoring and reporting of service delivery (PETS, Scorecards (parliamentary, LG etc)
The Public Expenditure Tracking Survey (PETS) is a quantitative survey of the supply side of public services. The unit of observation is typically a service facility and/or local government i.e. frontline providers like schools and health units. PETS key use is trace the flow of resources from origin to destination and determine the location and scale of anomaly.
Score Cards at various levels: community, LG and parliament
Score Cards are qualitative monitoring tools that are used for local (community), national(parliament/ president) and LG level for monitoring and performance evaluation of services, projects and even government administrative units by the communities themselves. The community score card (CSC) process is a hybrid of the techniques of social audit, community monitoring and citizen report cards. Like the citizen report card, the CSC process is an instrument to exact social and public accountability and responsiveness from service providers. However, by including an interface meeting between service providers and the community that allows for immediate feedback, the process is also a strong instrument for empowerment .
3) Transparency International Indices
Transparency International Indices show mainly the level of corruption among government bodies. This statistical indices help citizenry to raise concerns based on the results published. For Example: East African Bribery Index 2009: The Kenya Police is the most corrupt institution in East Africa. And in 2010, Uganda police was the most corrupt institution in East Africa:
4) Social Accountability Forums at Village, S/C, District and National level)
This are mainly organized by CSOs. Leaders are questioned by the citizenry on issues of accountability and issues they promised during elections. CEW-IT is currently what is termed as Neighborhood Assemblies (NAs), Manifesto Days based on its current project of Citizens Manifesto in action.
5) Community Mobilization
Communities have of also organized themselves to raise concerns over issue that affect them. Some of these have been through non violent means. Strikes, #walk2work, demos – Mabira campaign, Traders strikes (KACITA)
The NGO Quality Assurance Certification Mechanism (QuAM)
QuAM is a voluntary internal self assessment and regulation mechanism initiated to strengthen the internal governance of NGOs by supporting them to enhance their capacity to uphold accepted standards and ethical conduct.
Legitimacy, Transparency and Accountability issues for civil society organizations can be monitored through QuAM
CEW- IT; citizens’ initiative in electoral democracy. Monitored elections, currently implementing citizens’ manifesto in action
PPPs ; Public Private Partnerships and Business Community (KACITA- Kampala City Traders Association)
Citizens’ are continually awaking to the different calls and initiatives hence hope for the better and smarter solutions.
Citizens’ and CSOs engagement with their leaders is improving from day to day and in the process accountability issues taking a new shape.