By PATRICK JARAMOGI
KAMPALA, Uganda-SHIFTMEDIA- Stakeholders in the infrastructure sector have been urged to understand disclosed information so as to make informed decisions.
The calls geared towards holding leaders accountable and demanding for accountability was made during the release of the CoST Uganda study results.
The results of the updated Scoping Study on the baseline level of transparency on infrastructure transparency in Uganda was released on October 1 2021.
A total of 35 institutions from Government, private sector and civil society were engaged in the update of the country scoping study, which ran for a period of seven months.
Releasing the results that was held virtually, Gilbert Sendugwa the CoST Africa Senior Regional Manager said: “for better accountability, stakeholders need to understand the disclosed information and identify issues to make informed decisions and hold their leaders accountable. I congratulate CoST Uganda, the Champion Ministry of Works and Transport, and all stakeholders upon the successful completion of this important study, in such challenging times.”
He noted that the study was conducted across central and local governments, CSOs, media, and development partners with interest in procurement and infrastructure service delivery.
“Looking at the results of the updated study on infrastructure projects, you will agree with me that, with the pandemic, access to information has been more critical than ever before. I am happy to note that, CoST Uganda’s work has greatly contributed towards enhancing disclosure through the Assurance process, Scoping study, training and awareness events, citizen participation and fair business practice,” said Sendugwa.
He said the International Secretariat had noted the growth and impact the programme has had over the last five years.
CoST Uganda is among the 19 CoST members, and 5 members from Africa, (Uganda, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Ghana and Malawi).
Sendugwa said; “Our tools and approaches represent the most advanced technology and have received endorsement from the G20, C20, The International Anti corruption Academy, European Investment Bank (EIB) and the International Federation of Consulting Engineers (FIDIC).”
He explained that the Scoping Study tool helps member countries to measure how far they are in regards to infrastructure transparency, this is backed up by the recently launched Infrastructure Transparency Index, and the Assurance processes on selected projects.
“There is good progress, but, a lot still remains to be done. As the recommendations from the report will indicate, there is a strong need to enhance policy implementation, awareness raising and institutionalization of infrastructure transparency across all Government systems and institutions,” observed Sendugwa.
The study was guided by collecting data from a sample of 35 entities drawn from local and central government procuring entities, policy and regulatory entities, and representatives from the private sector engaged in infrastructure delivery.
The study recommended that rewards and incentives be introduced for the best performing entities in disclosure and performance of infrastructure projects.
CoST Uganda was also tasked to train the public on data use, strengthen collaboration and partnerships as well sustain a strategic media engagement approach.
But above all, the study revealed that despite the promotion of disclosure of infrastructure related information, the willingness is yet to be translated into total commitment and action.
The Permanent Secretary Ministry of Works and Transport Bageya Waiswa, which plays the role of champion for CoST activities in Uganda, said: “The Ministry takes note of the recommendations from this study, and as the lead sector entity, we will spear head follow up of the recommendations, and support implementation of the same across the Ministry agencies.”