More than 60 agencies, commissions or authorities were to be disbanded, merged with others or returned to ministries as departments. Now Public Service Minister Wilson Muruli Mukasa says the process requires amendments in legislation. “Most of these agencies are created by acts of parliament and you cannot just abolish them,” he says.
The government has yet again ignored calls by the UN and
local civil society to streamline and rationalize ministries, departments and
agencies, a move that would be vital in achieving the 3rd National Development
In 2019, the United
Nations Development Programme (UNDP) advised the government to carry out urgent
policy and institutional reforms before starting implementation of the NDP III.
The UN agency said that this would help the
country have policy directions and institutions able to plan and implement
In 2017, President
Museveni directed Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda to spearhead the reform
process, as part of the efforts to reduce the government wage bill and
harmonise salary structures.
Dr Rugunda said
this would do away with duplication of roles among MDAs and enhance service
delivery and effective governance.
years later, this is yet to happen.
and new instances of duplication continues to be evident. NDPIII aims to fast track realization of
results from the previous plans and therefore, a programmatic approach to
planning is adopted, as opposed to planning and budgeting based on and entire
The new approach to public spending
under the NDP III, or the Project Based Budget approach, calls for harmonization
between agencies, so that should different ministries have separate plans for a
similar project, they will be able to implement it jointly.
This will prevent duplication and save
funds. But there is fear that this will not be
possible, with the existence of so many independent agencies and authorities,
and many of them with overlapping roles.
Giving an example of establishment of
industrial parks, the Executive Director, Civil Society Advocacy Group, Julius
Mukunda says that even if agencies coordinated on a project, there would be misuse of
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More than 60 agencies,
commissions or authorities were to be disbanded, merged with others or returned
to ministries as departments.
But Public Service Minister Wilson Muruli Mukasa says the
process requires amendments in legislation.
“Most of these agencies are created by acts of parliament
and you cannot just abolish them,”, he says.
There are also fears that some of the agencies are highly
indebted and dissolving them as they are could raise legal issues.
As the 10th parliament comes to an end, it is
increasing unlikely that it will solve the issue.
But Agnes Kirabo, the Executive Director, Food Rights
Alliance says creation of new agencies has become a source of income for a few
instead of for development.
She urges the next government to complete the process.
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This comes at a time that the government faces an uphill
task raising funding for the 2021/22 national budget worth 45,trillion shillings, with
most of it expected from loans and grants.
The government will have to look for new ways of raising
domestic revenue, alongside cautious spending. The Executive Director Uganda
Road Sector Support Initiative, Sam Mutabazi advises government to as
much as possible, put most of the development resources at the lowest level of
government, instead of creating new agencies at the top where there is no
creation of wealth.