Kampala- Development partners want government to fill vacant positions in the local government administrative units and also increase funding to local governments in order to achieve improved service delivery in the districts.
Local governments in the country are faced with under-funding from the central government and as a result, service delivery at the district, municipality and town council level has remained poor.
Speaking on behalf of seven development partners during the launch of the Local Government Councils Scorecard Assessment 201415 report by Aocates Coalition for Development and Environment (Acode) at Imperial Royal Hotel in Kampala on Friday, the Irish Ambassador, Mr Donal Cronin, called on the government to increase financing to the local governments.
“The local governments are still faced with inadequate human and financial capacity to execute their duties effectively. At the districts, there are unfilled posts that should not be there. Government needs to fill those posts to strengthen the human capacity of the local governments,” he said.
“The current revenue flowing from the central government to the local government is low. Monitoring and supervision need funding so that the local governments can improve public service delivery,” he added.
Mr Cronin’s remarks come on the heels of the findings of the Auditor General’s report 2014, which shows that more than 18,000 jobs in local governments across the country have remained vacant for years, despite having been approved for filling.
Uganda is grappling with thousands of jobless graduates and the question of pervasive unemployment has become a hot election issue in the ongoing campaigns for the 2016 polls.
Mr Cronin said there are seven development partners financing different government and NGO activities through the Democratic Governance Facility (GDF). The seven donors include Austria, Denmark, European Union, the Netherlands, Sweden, Ireland and UK.
However, Mr Cronin said local governments must also raise revenue collection in their districts.
Acode said in its Scorecard report that the Budget allocation for local governments has increased by 56 per cent, from Shs9.630 billion in 201112 to Shs15.042 billion in 201415. However, Acode also noted in its report that: “The share of the budget allocated to local government remained below the 20 per cent mark in this period.”
The Acode Local Government Councils Assessment Scorecard report reveals that local governments heavily depend on transfers from central government for their financing.
“On average, central government transfers accounted for 92 per cent of local government budgets for the financial year 201112 and financial year 201415. Donors and local revenue accounted for five and three per cent respectively,” reads the report.
The acting permanent secretary in the Ministry of Local Government, Mr John Geneda Walala, said three per cent of local revenues generated by the local governments is too little and unacceptable.
SOURCE: DAILY MONITOR