CURBING CORRUPTION AND PROMOTING TRANSPARENCY IN LOCAL GOVERNMENTS The Experience of Bushenyi District, Uganda
A Paper Presented as Part of the World Bank’ s Open and Participatory Government Programme at the Local Level World Bank Institute, Washington DC.
Johnson Bitarabeho Chief Administrative Officer Bushenyi District, Uganda
21 May 2003
CURBING CORRUPTION AND PROMOTING TRANSPARENCY IN LOCAL GOVERNMENTS: EXPERIENCEOF BUSHENYI DISTRICT EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The objectives of the case study are: To give the experience of a District Local Government in combating corruption and promoting transparency. To put on record the good practices of curbing corruption in Local Governments for ...view middle of the document...
Decentralisation in Uganda is firmly based on the presumption that improved local governance can be achieved through devolution of political powers and functions, along with fiscal resources, and that this will improve service delivery and in turn positively impact on poverty. The paradigm is enshrined in the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda (1995) and the Local Governments Act, 1997. The Local Government system in Uganda is based on the district, as a unit under which there are lower local governments and administrative units. There are fiftysix (56) Districts in Uganda. Bushenyi District is one of the Districts in Uganda. (Refer to Appendix 1 for details of Bushenyi District). The decentralisation policy has been implemented with emphasis placed on institutional arrangements, and capacity building. Many achievements have been registered so far, with varying degree of success across the Districts in the country. Government completed a phased devolution of recurrent financing for most government services to all districts. A clear schedule of mandated service responsibilities for Local Governments were established in the Local Governments Act. Local governments are now responsible for the bulk of administrative and political processes within their respective areas of jurisdiction. Various reports point to improved local decision making, improved accountability and ownership of public investments under Local Government control. There have also been improved local administrative and planning capacities. In addition, elections of Local Government Council leaders by universal adult suffrage, is a regular occurrence. Despite the achievements, many challenges have been faced. These include inadequate capacity in Local Governments to handle the devolved functions and responsibilities, reduced locally raised revenue in Districts and corruption. Various measures have been put in place to deal with the challenges and significant improvements have been registered. However, corruption remains a very big challenge at all levels in the Country. Corruption manifests into two types namely petty corruption and grand corruption. This paper attempts to outline the experiences of Bushenyi District during the implementation of the decentralisation policy and the measures taken to deal with the various challenges, especially corruption. The paper brings out the forms of corruption, the causes, the effects, measures taken to curb corruption, the achievements and the challenges. The broad conclusion reached is that corruption is a cancer that eats the social, political and economic fabric of development and 2
Curbing Corruption and Promoting Transparency in Local Governments: The Experience of Bushenyi District, Uganda ______________________________________________________________________________________________________
requires the commitment and involvement of all stakeholders (including all levels of Government, civil society organisations, private sector,...