Saturday, February 13, 2010

Accountability Sector II

Roles of the Accountability Sector
The rationale for the Accountability Sector and its composition is the common focus on the promotion, supervision and implementation of accountability systems. Specifically, the roles of the Sector are:
• To promote synergy and close co-operation between Poverty Reduction Strategic Paper (PRSP) and sector working groups to achieve a roll out of high standards of accountability in public service institutions
• To develop accountability sector strategic plans, investment strategies and frameworks.
• To ensure the development, implementation and regular updating of all sector programs
• To ensure that effective monitoring, evaluation and reporting mechanisms are in place and are operating to support program implementation
• To identify key policy bottlenecks that hinder progress and proactively seek solutions
• To establish, direct and guide technical sub committees
• To provide a focal point of contact within the sector and with the inter agency forum
(ASSIP 2008)

Observation:

It was noted that while the roles above are splendid, the critical role of coordination for which the Accountability Sector was created is not specifically reflected. It is proposed that a role of “coordinating institutions involved in promotion, supervision, as well as implementation of accountability systems be included as the pivotal role of the Sector. The team also observed that the roles outlined above are rather fused and need to be further refined to distinctly define the mandate of the Accountability Sector.

Membership of the Accountability Sector

The Sector approach fosters complementarities and cohesion in promoting accountability. This was the basis for the choice of membership that is composed of the following key Institutions and Agencies;
I. Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development
II. Inspectorate of Government
III. Office of the Auditor General
IV. Directorate for Ethics and Integrity, Office of the President
V. Ministry of Public Service- Inspectorate
VI. Ministry of Local Government – Inspectorate
VII. Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Authority.
VIII. Uganda Bureau of Statistics
IX. Uganda Revenue Authority.
X. Representatives of International Development Partners.

Observation:
It was noted that some other institutions that are key to strengthening accountability were left out of the Sector membership. It was also observed that accountability is a cycle that begins with a planning framework, approval/adoption of the plans, budgeting, budget implementation and reporting. It involves both fiscal and physical accountability. In the case that there are issues emerging for further follow up after the necessary audits; investigation and or prosecution become necessary. The sector should therefore attract and/or invite more members who are involved in related oversight or accountability work. Institutions like DPP, Judiciary, Judicial Service Commission, Police – the Anti-corruption Department and CID are key for inclusion.

National Planning Authority and Civil Society Organizations, Institute of Statistics and Applied Economics to beef up the Sector. However, the Sector should not be overstretched to lose the focus and mandate for which it was created. This calls for a keen analysis of which institutions should be added.

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