The Africa Freedom of Information Centre (AFIC), a local non-governmental organisation, has received $650,000 (about Shs 1.7bn) to monitor government projects in five selected districts.
Moustapha Ndiaye, the World Bank country manager for Uganda, and Gilbert Sendugwa, the head of Secretariat AFIC, signed a Global Partnership Social Accountability (GPSA) grant on Wednesday. The money is to enhance transparency and accountability of public contracting in the agriculture, education and health sectors.
Through a four-year project, AFIC is expected to touch the lives of 2.5 million people living in the districts of Lira, Oyam, Arua, Kabale and Ntungamo by building their capacity to monitor government-funded programmes and services in order to improve service delivery in public contracting.
“We believe that when the community is empowered and given information that something is supposed to be done for them and it does not happen, they rise and ask why,” Sendugwa said.
Ndiaye said this initiative would improve service delivery.
“This project seeks to close the huge implementation gaps in service delivery, manifested through economic mismanagement, procurement fraud, collusion, embezzlement, and forgery, causing major losses to government,” he said.
He added that sometimes after awarding contracts, relevant ministries had not followed up, leading to delayed implementation or failure of completion. He said inefficiencies were mainly realised in the construction of latrines, classrooms, and health facilities.
AFIC said it would seek contractual information from government ministries and departments and relay it to the communities.
Source : The Observer