By Francis Emorut
Government has been tasked to provide timely information to the public to keep the people abreast of new developments in the country.
“This will make the citizens to be aware of government’s programs and hold the leaders accountable,” Julius Mukunda, a coordinator of Civil Society Budget Advocacy Group said on Sunday.
He was briefing reporters during the celebrations to mark International Right to Know Day celebrations at Uganda Debt Network headquarters in Kampala.
Mukunda blamed government for sometimes hiding information or coming out too late to disseminate information to the masses and yet the 1995 Constitution guarantees citizens to the right to access of information from government and its agencies.
“Access to information is a fundamental right that is operationalized by Access to Information Act 2005,” Patrick Tumwebaze, the executive director of Uganda Debt Network said.
“Even when the government produces the in-year reports on a monthly basis, public dissemination is only done after six months. This complicates public efforts to hold the central and local governments accountable since reports are made available long after the implementation periods,” he stated.
Tumwebaze however, hailed government for improving the level of budget transparency.
“Overtime Uganda has registered substantial improvements in the level of budget transparency and we commend Government in this respect,” he pointed out.
According to the Open Budget Survey 2012 conducted by civil society organisations, Uganda’s performance improved by 32% in 2006 to 65% in 2012.
The executive director said the above-mentioned performance sawUganda ranked as 18th-best out of the 100 countries sampled globally.
He noted that at the East African regional level Uganda was ranked number one and number two in Africa after South Africa.
Despite all this achievement, Tumwebaze appealed to Government to produce comprehensive documents regarding budget so as to make it simpler for public consumption.