Promotion of transparency and accountability

Project description

Title: Promotion of accountability and transparency
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Uganda
Lead executing agency: Office of the Auditor General (OAG)
Overall term: 2014 to 2016

Context

Uganda has made considerable economic and social progress in recent years. Nevertheless, corruption and mismanagement have prevented the country from fully harnessing its improved capacity for poverty reduction. As an independent supreme audit institution, the Office of the Auditor General (OAG) is mandated under the constitution with auditing public revenues and expenditures. Its purpose is to ensure sound financial management of the government and to help prevent corruption. After a number of significant and successful corruption investigations, OAG has gained the reputation as one of the most effective public institutions in Uganda.

However, a number of shortcomings continue to hinder the institution from pursuing effective public sector audits. It still lacks the capacity to achieve full compliance with the International Standards of Supreme Audit Institutions (ISSAIs). Moreover, the Ugandan Parliament does not respond satisfactorily to reports submitted by OAG, so its recommendations have no binding effect on the affected parties. Meanwhile, overlapping competences hamper interactions between OAG and important partners in the field of accountability, including the Public Procurement Disposal of Assets Authority (PPDA) and the Inspectorate of Government (IG).

Objective

The effectiveness of public sector auditing in Uganda has increased, and there is enhanced cooperation between accountability organisations such as the Public Procurement Disposal of Assets Authority, the Inspectorate of Government and the Office of the Auditor General.

Approach

GIZ is working together with OAG, PPDA and IG to implement the project. Other key actors, such as the Parliament of Uganda, civil society organisations and government organisations (those subject to audits) are likewise involved. They also benefit from a range of capacity building activities. GIZ provides support in numerous areas, including:

  • Implementation of OAG’s Corporate Plan, including monitoring and evaluation
  • Development of a human resources development strategy and policies for OAG
  • Raising the quality of auditing and reporting by reforming reporting structures and through support for OAG’s quality assurance system
  • Improving cooperation with relevant actors by developing a cooperation strategy for the key stakeholders
  • Establishing a follow-up system to track the adoption of OAG’s audit recommendations by Parliament and the implementation of recommendations by audited bodies
  • Enhancing interaction between OAG and IG by supporting workshops at all levels and providing joint training in audit, investigation and procurement
  • Assisting OAG in its capacity as chair of the INTOSAI Working Group on Extractive Industries

Supreme Audit Institutions do not work in isolation. Organisations that perform similar work also need to be taken into consideration, and strengthened at the same time. By holding joint workshops and seminars for the staff of PPDA, IG and OAG, and by facilitating a platform for strategic discussions at management level, the project will strengthen communication, cooperation and knowledge exchange between accountability institutions. This should enhance the effectiveness of their operations, increase transparency and prevent corruption.

The project will also promote organisational and human resources development in line with OAG’s Corporate Plan. It also supports the development of reliable data on its organisational performance to provide it to the stakeholders. In addition, guidelines and manuals will be developed according to international auditing standards. These will help practitioners to carry out specialist audits such as IT, Gender, PPP and Public Works Audits. An independent, efficient, well-structured and transparent Supreme Audit Institution will fulfil a unique role in providing an objective assessment of the cost-effectiveness and efficiency of Uganda’s public financial management.