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EU Finances Justice and Accountability Reform in Uganda

The Head of the European Delegation to Uganda Ambassador Attilio Pacifici and the Finance Minister Matia Kasaija signed the financing agreement for the sector reform and performance contract today at the Ministry of finance offices in Kampala in what is expected to transform the justice sector in Uganda.

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The European Union (EU) has donated 285 billion Shillings to support justice and accountability reform in Uganda. The funds will be channelled towards improving governance of public funds, mobilization, strategic allocation and efficient use of public resources for improved service delivery.

The activities implemented through the Justice Law and Order Sector (JLOS) and other accountability sectors are expected to enhance their systems from 2018 to 2021.

The Head of the European Delegation to Uganda Ambassador Attilio Pacifici and the Finance Minister Matia Kasaija signed the financing agreement for the sector reform and performance contract today at the Ministry of finance offices in Kampala in what is expected to transform the justice sector in Uganda.

Ambassador Pacifici stated that they will ensure that the sector budget support triggers key policy reforms, which will make a tangible and lasting difference to the lives of Ugandan citizens. He says that as one of the targets to be reached, Government has committed to halving the case backlog in the courts of law from 24 percent in 2016 to 12 percent in 2020.

The Government has also committed to bring down the proportion of remand prisoners in the overall prison population from 52 percent in 2016 to 44 percent in 2020. He adds that justice and accountability reform will also make public procurement more transparent, by decreasing the use of exemptions from open tendering across all ministries department and agencies.

"We have agreed on a target of 70 percent in 2020 for the proportion of open tenders, up from the current figure of 45.5 percent," he said.

Pacifici notes that in the Anti-corruption area, the level of the justice and accountability reform disbursements will also be influenced by progress in the automation of the case management system. He says in 2016, 12 percent of courts had such a system in place and this needs to be increased to 50 percent by 2020.

 

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Finance Minister Matia Kasaija is optimistic that the funding will improve coverage, accessibility and human rights compliance of service delivery in the JLOs sector. "This will enhance state resilience and institutional capacities to reduce public sector corruption.

He says for accountability purposes, the accounting officers hold meetings to ensure full accountability and progress, civil society will be highly involved and consulted to give an input to the processes. He says Uganda is tough on corruption and will ensure full accountability.

"We shall ensure that the resources are utilized for the intended objectives and the accountability will be done in a timely manner" Kasaija stated.

 

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The Justice and Accountability Reform pursue a strengthened collaboration between the accountability and JLOs sectors for leveraging the outcomes of anti-corruption measure. This will link the different parts of accountability chain like transparency, audit, investigations, sanctions and prosecutions among others.