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Uganda scores high in budget transparency: survey

KAMPALA (Xinhua) -- The government of Uganda has been recognized by the Open Budget Survey 2017 for having the second most transparent budget in Africa, after South Africa.

The Survey conducted by the Uganda Debt Network (UDN) in partnership with the International Budget Partnership (IBP) gave Uganda a 60 percent score, which is above the 42 percent average global score.

The report said Uganda published seven out of the eight essential budgeting documents to its citizens in a timely manner, to score above her peers, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa.

It also ranked Uganda above the global average in citizen participation in the budget making process, 28 percent vs. global average of 12 percent.

Speaking during the launch of the survey report at the finance ministry in Kampala, UDN board treasurer, Christopher Iga noted that Uganda’s legislature scored 71 percent during the budget making process, although this fell drastically to 28 percent during budget execution and auditing.

He said, however, that only 32 countries’ legislatures had adequate oversight practices, 47 had limited oversight practices while 26 had weak oversight practices.

The Open Budget Survey assesses public involvement in the budget making process and is alleged to be the world’s only independent, comparative and regular assessment of public budget accountability.

He advised that in order to improve further, the government should hold legislative hearings on the audit report, during which members of the public and the civil society can be allowed to testify.

“You can also establish formal mechanisms for the public to assist the supreme audit institutions by participating in relevant audit investigations, as well as exchange views on national budget matters during the formation of the national budget,” he said.

The state minister of finance for economic planning, David Bahati attributed the performance to implementation of the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) 2015.

“The other is the certificate of compliance, issued by the National Planning Authority after measuring budget compliance of the previous financial year, in relation to our national Development Plans and the Chatter for Fiscal Responsibility,” he said.

The Director Budget, Kenneth Mugambe said the government has been taking measures such as consultative and participatory budget processes at all levels, and publishing simplified versions of national development plans to improve budget transparency.



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