TOP
Thursday,October 22,2020 11:25 AM
  • Home
  • Opinion
  • Assessing the institutional capacity of external agencies in holding local gov'ts accountable

Assessing the institutional capacity of external agencies in holding local gov'ts accountable

By Admin

Added 31st May 2017 10:16 AM

When you talk about a blueprint in relation to assessing the institutional capacity of MDAs in ensuring accountability and good Governance, then the quick search will lead you to this particular article.

Assessing the institutional capacity of external agencies in holding local gov'ts accountable

When you talk about a blueprint in relation to assessing the institutional capacity of MDAs in ensuring accountability and good Governance, then the quick search will lead you to this particular article.

The question of institutional capacity to ensure accountability in local government for good governance is one that will tease your mind, especially if you are not widely read.

When you talk about a blueprint in relation to assessing the institutional capacity of MDAs in ensuring accountability and good Governance, then the quick search will lead you to this particular article.

This research paper presents important findings concerning the institutional capacity of the Office of the Auditor general and the Inspectorate of Government; focusing on the legislative framework enabling the execution of these agonies in pursuit of their mandate to step up accountability and stakeholder support. The paper innately unlocks the nexus of accountability, good governance and development.

A scan into the structural capacity and responsibilities of the OAG and IG reveals serious work load related handicaps that suggest inefficiency to execute the respective mandates in ensuring accountability and good governance. The writer goes ahead to suggest that there is need to "audit the auditors".

There is serious human resource capacity inefficiency and the creation of new districts and many more lower local governments has placed a strain on the resources of the OAG to the point where the majority of audits in local government, especially at sub-county level are not audited and backlogs are growing.

The writer describes the human resource situation in the two agencies and "poor" basing on alterations from the staff interviewed. Despite financial support from Irish Aid, Norway, ADB, and the World Bank, the two Agencies continue to face several operational problems emanating from inadequate financial resources to handle the operational costs of investigations, prosecutions, verification of declarations, education and public awareness. (Pg. 94)

The findings reveal that there is a fairly enabling legislative framework as seen in the number of laws including; the Constitution of Uganda, 1995 the Inspectorate of Government Act (IGA), 2002, the Public Finance and Accountability Act (PFAA), 2003, he local Governments Act (LGA), 1997, he Local Government Finance and Accounting Regulations, 1998, and the Leadership Code Act, 2002.

It must however be noted that there are still challenges to do with the operationalization and observance of these legislative instruments in a bid to step up accountability and good governance. Staff salaries are not spared by the budgetary cuts from Central Government and this hinders remuneration and motivation.

The legal battles involving the IGG and the IG as an institution is another salient issue that stands out in this paper. The Author points out among others, the Miscellaneous application No. 28 of 2009 between Kezaala (Jinja Mayor) and the IGG and others. This according to the writer hampers the observance and implementation of the legal framework by the two agencies in question.

The author highlights the need for the OAG and IG to work in close cooperation with stakeholders. The two agencies need to collaborate with institutions like the Presidency, Parliament, Judiciary, Police Force, Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Criminal Investigations Department (DPP), local government authorities, and civil society.

The constraint however notes that recommendations from the two agencies in their effort to promote accountability and good governance are usually delayed or completely ignored. This explains the situation at hand the public sector ineptness. The study (according to the author) also revealed that negative attitudes, corruption and intransigence in the institutions that are supposed to be partners in fighting graft frustrate the IG and OAG.

Jurisdictional limitations & Corporate Planning are another serious concern that the enforcement of IG and OAG recommendations sometimes relies on the voluntary will of other governmental bodies, who may choose to delay or even  ignore them, after all. The author stresses the importance of periodic planning as one of the best practices as per contemporary management practice.

He contends that an elaborate, sound and viable corporate plan, thus, becomes a major indicator and tool in analyzing the institutional capacity of an organization.

In my opinion, this institutional analysis demonstrates that the external control agencies of the IG and the OAG exhibit mixed fortunes of institutional capacity. These agencies continue to be encumbered by a torrent of financial, human and material resource limitations, as well as deficiencies in the enabling legislation and support from various stakeholders and the deficiencies cause a backlog of cases every year, which are a recipe for encouraging public malfunction and a future threat to losing public confidence in these institutions. I definitely appreciate that the corporate plans of the IG and the OAG represent a well-thought desire and effort to foster accountability and effective public management, but they should rekindle a proactive approach to strategically build and rejuvenate collaborative relations with other stakeholder agencies to augment their institutional capacity.

This is a call to the wider stakeholder community and the powers that be to urgently forensically look into the institutional capacity of these and more MDAs

The Original Article was written by Umar Kakumba (PhD), current Dean of School of Business in Makerere University and the reviewer is the Executive Director, Youth Aid Africa and can be reached on akyokwijuka@youthaidafrica.org

 

Related articles

More From The Author

More From The Author