Government has been tasked to explain the current incongruity of its purported enhanced budget transparency, which is questionably not reflected with any notable drop in corruption cases.
At a parallel dialogue organized along the ongoing National Anti-Corruption Week, government was questioned on its unrelenting corruption levels despite claims of budget transparency.
“Whereas there is increased budget openness, it has not directly translated into reduction of corruption tendencies” said a one Keith Kisaame
Participants condemned government for not doing enough in curbing corruption which has led to loss of public resources and consequently poor service delivery to citizens.
They also questioned whether or not there was political interference in the ministry of finance when it comes fighting corruption.
“There is no money in the health centers for lighting equipment to help pregnant women to deliver why do you give little resources to the health sector” Mary Kazibwe a corruption activist charged.
The event, organized by a civil society budget advocacy group (CSBAG) and FOWODE put Mr. Lawrence Semakula, the Accountant General on the spot to explain government’s sluggish anticorruption steps.
Mr Semakula, also Chairperson of the Accountability Sector Working Group told the conference that the country’s resource envelope to fight corruption remained small due to limited revenue mobilization.
The Accountant General outlined the challenges the accountability sector faces as; low public demand for accountability, high level of corruption and low levels of compliance to its recommendations.
But with the recently government introduced measures as cleaning of the government payroll system, he noted the future was not too dim.
The other measure he revealed was the direct remittance of Primary Health Care funds for health centers as well as Universal Primary Education and School Facility Grants for schools.
“Through such measures and more, there is increased timeliness in receipt of funds and we have registered a reduction in wastage and loss of public resources.
Semakula acknowledged the pivotal role the civil society actors play in demanding for accountability and transparency from government and urged the public to demand accountability from their district and political leaders as well as civil servants.
He said because of the civil society pressure on government the later now publicly declares released funds on a quarterly basis which was not heard of before.
“Civil society organizations have played a key role in accountability and transparency that has caused government to be open,” Semakula said..