By Samuel Sanya
Major donors have reviewed government performance in the management of public funds in the financial year 2011/12 as satisfactory, creating the possibility of resumption in budget aid.
The World Bank, the European Union, and the governments of Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Norway, Sweden and the UK noted that government procurement systems and projects are working much better.
Donors cut off budget support at the end of 2012 after a high profile fraud case in the Office of the Prime Minister.
As part of the resumption of the dialogue between the Government and development partners following the misappropriation of funds, a joint review of government’s performance in the fiscal year 2011/12 took place.
The joint government-development partner review co-chaired by Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi, Danish envoy Dan E. Frederiksen and World Bank country manager Ahmadou Moustapha Ndiaye found government’s performance as satisfactory.
“We appreciate Uganda’s efforts to re-establish confidence in government systems by addressing public finance management weaknesses,” Frederiksen said.
Mbabazi reiterated government’s commitment to meeting its entire obligation under the High Level Government Financial Management Reform Action Plan, where the Government has undertaken administrative and legal action.
“The Government has improved and strengthened the security of the public finance management processes under the Integrated Financial Management System. This capacity building process will be sustained,” Mbabazi said.
He added that the Government has also fully constituted the Office of the Inspector General of Government and appointed the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) to amplify the fight against public sector corruption.
Mbabazi noted that the Police have undertaken extensive investigations in the affected ministries, departments and agencies and are working with the Office of the DPP to ensure that suspects are charged in courts of law.
Ndiaye, who is the co-chair of the Joint Budget Support Group of 10 development partners, noted that despite a reduction in sector performance from the financial year 2010/2011, a majority of targets remain on track.
He said the assessment presents a clear picture that the strengthening of public financial management and the ongoing fight against corruption remain areas where the Government and development partners must continue to work together.