Reforms Timeline

Reforms Timeline

Decentralization of the internal audit function.

Decentralization of the internal audit function.
As a way of looking at the differing ways of improving the quality of the internal audit functions in accordance with internationally recognized standards, government internal audit functions were to be decentralized starting with financial year 2005/06. Section 90 of the Local Governments Act Cap 243 stipulates the existence of the Internal Audit department in every district whose duties and responsibilities are also well defined by regulations 2007 and the Local Government Audit Manual 2007. The department has the mandate to carry out audits in health centers, schools, sub counties, district council departments, LDG grant, CBG grant, CDD, man power audit, NAADS, special audits and investigations and any other projects.

Strengthened the legislative oversight through PAC

Strengthened the legislative oversight through PAC

The Public Accounts Committee in Parliament (PAC) as currently constituted draws its legal standing from the Constitution, and the Rules of Procedure of Parliament (June 2005).

Treasury Single Account

Treasury Single Account

Upon recognizing  how government banking arrangements are an important factor in managing and controlling government’s cash resources. Also knowing that they are critical for ensuring that (i) all tax and non-tax revenues are collected and payments are made correctly in a timely manner; and (ii) government cash balances are optimally managed to reduce borrowing costs (or to maximize returns on surplus cash). This is achieved by establishing a unified structure of government bank accounts via a treasury single account (TSA) system. Under the Treasury Single Account (TSA), government ministries, departments and agencies receive money from a single Treasury account on a quarterly basis

In these age and time of how things are done especially in Public Finance management, a TSA is a prerequisite for modern cash management and is an effective tool for the ministry of finance/the treasury to establish oversight and centralized control over government’s cash resources. And also to provides a number of other benefits thereby enhancing the overall effectiveness of a public financial management (PFM) system. The establishment of a TSA was, therefore, a priority as a PFM reform.

With effect from 1st October 2013, Government of Uganda (GoU) introduced a Treasury Single Account (TSA) in which all government cash balances are aggregated into a set of linked accounts. The primary objective of the TSA was to ensure management of GoU aggregate cash balances in order to: Minimize transaction costs during budget
execution; Ensure efficient control and monitoring of funds released to various Government agencies; and better coordination between fiscal and monetary policy implementation initiatives of government.

The operations of the TSA over the period under review were analysed, and it was noted that despite having challenges in the transition period, the implementation has been largely successful. It was noted that: the arrangement has led to the closure of a number of redundant accounts, which could have been avenues for misuse of funds; it has greatly improved treasury cash management; as at 30th June, 2014, cash is only available to entities which can absorb it; and it is envisaged that in subsequent years, borrowing from the domestic market will be greatly reduced.

Aid and debt management reforms

Aid and debt management reforms

The Government of Uganda began rolling out the Aid Management Platform (AMP) to Development Partners and users by making the system available online in November 2013. Development Partners were now able to input directly into the system while Government Ministries both supplemented on the data and used it for planning, monitoring, and reporting purposes.

Training is currently being conducted with all development partners and other sector ministries. The objective is to ensure that development partners and government users have the ability to enter their aid data into the online system. The Aid Liaison Division hopes that PIMIS data users – from development partners and government – are able to access and use the system both for input and reporting purposes.

The Aid Management Platform is a software solution allowing users to manage activities through the planning, implementation, and evaluation stages. Through online workspaces, data entry and reporting modules, and interactive dashboards and maps, decision makers can allocate resources where most needed. The Aid Management Platform helps governments and development partners gather, access, and monitor information on development activities, with the goal of increasing aid effectiveness.

Using the AMP software, stakeholders can track activities through the planning, implementation, and evaluation stages. With online workspaces, data entry and reporting modules, and interactive dashboards and maps, decision-makers can better understand how aid is directed throughout the country.

To ensure sustainability, the program implementation includes hands-on training for government and development partners, data management plans, ongoing technical support, policy support for program management, and a semi-annual Good Practices Workshop

Integrated Personnel and Payroll System

Integrated Personnel and Payroll System

In 2014, wanting to reduce on the number of ghost government workers within its different departments, an Integrated Personnel and Payroll System (IPPS) is a computerized and web-based Human Resource Management Information System was rolled out in government  Ministries, Departments, Agencies and Local Governments (MDAs & LGs) to perform various human resource functions. The implementation of IPPS was part of the Public Service Reform programmes aimed at strengthening accountability and improved service delivery through automation of Human Resource functions and provision of reliable and timely information for decision making.

Currently, four modules notably Payroll Management, Pension Management, Establishment Control and Training Management are functional. In addition, MDAs & LGs were able to access electronic records on the Electronic Document Management System (EDMS) through IPPS.

A total of 242 MDAs and LGs are using IPPS to process salary, pension and gratuity. Of these, 173 are connected to IPPS on site. The balance of 69 votes access IPPS at the 10 Regional Support Centres. These Centres, were established to ease access to IPPS for votes that still lack the required infrastructure. This has reduced administrative costs of travel to Kampala and led to improved service delivery and timely quality support.

It is worth noting that IPPS is a component of Public Financial Management Reforms under the Third Financial Management and Accountability Programme (FINMAP III) purposed at improving timeliness, accuracy and accountability of Government salary and pension payments.

SERVICES PROVIDED THROUGH THE PROJECT

  • Decentralized management and processing of salary, pension and gratuity payments for public officers, pensioners and survivors;
  • Establishment management for the approved structures of Ministries, Departments, Agencies and Local Governments;
  • Employee Information management that stores the master data of a particular officer for the entire work life;
  • Electronic Document Management System (EDMS) as an integral part of the IPPS that supports the records management business processes for ease of access to personnel records and mail correspondences by decision makers. It facilitates storage, retrieval and use of electronic records of Public Officers and pensioners.
  • Payroll cleaning through biometrics validation of Public Officers and authenticating their particulars against National ID database;
  • Functional and technical support to IPPS users on site, at the help desk and Regional Support Centres; and
  • Audit trail for all transactions executed on IPPS.

Integrated Financial Management System

Integrated Financial Management System

The Integrated Financial Management System (IFMIS) was launched in August 2014 to monitor how ministries, departments and agencies utilize funds on a real-time basis in a bid to improve budget implementation. As an electronic system, the automation of public procurement processes to seal the loopholes in the manual system through which state officers stole public funds.

With the Integrated Financial Management System (IFMIS),  government of Uganda is able to monitor their geographically dispersed local governments and administrative units.

With the implementation of this web-based system, Government of Uganda has gained real-time access to information about grants from different sources, increased efficiency, enhanced visibility of taxation requirements, quick and effective decision making, hassle free procurement process, improved budgeting and streamlined revenue management, compliance with reporting, and automated accounting processes.

IFMS Implementation Strategy

The IFMS has been implemented in a phased manner to ensure success and to provide GOU with a process of effectively and efficiently managing the transition from the current state to the future desired state. Some of the key Principles applied were:

i.              Central Acquisition of the system adopted

ii.             Central Management of the system agreed on

iii.            Decentralised ownership of data

iv.           A Turnkey Concept was adopted

Pilot implementation was conducted in 6 ministries and 4 local governments between February 2003 and October 2004. Rollout implementation has since progressed to another 12 Ministries and 6 Local Governments and will conclude December 2006.

In the Pilot and on-going Rollout implementation phases, the IFMS has focused on key Expenditure Management Systems that include the:

i.              Accounting and Reporting (General Ledger),

ii.             Budgeting, Purchasing and Commitment Accounting,

iii.            Payments,

iv.           Cash Management and Revenue Receipting/Accounts Receivable.

v.            Purchasing

vi.           Public Sector Budgeting including Activity Based Costing and OFA

The Fixed Asset Management, Inventory Control and Debt Management modules will be implemented at a later stage. Government recognises the need for increased efforts in revenue collection activities for Local Governments. Plans for the acquisition of a Local Government Revenue Module (LGRM) are under review.

IFMS Governance Structures

Benefits of the IFMS Documented by Users at a Review Workshop in June 2005

  1.     Faster operations
  2.     Increased level of transparency
  3.     Harmonized Chart of Accounts
  4.     Timely, relevant and accurate info
  5.     Effective Budgetary and commitment control
  6.     Reduction in number of bank accounts
  7.     Reduction in amount of paper work
  8.     Improved Information security
  9.     Timely and easy access to information
  10.     Movement and tracking of documents for approval
  11.     Ease of Monitoring and reporting
  12.     Training and skills enhancement for staff

Operational Independence of the OAG Physical

Operational Independence of the OAG Physical

In government’s bid to improve and streamline an effective and efficient supreme Audit Institutions geared towards  Promoting Public Accountability. The Office of the Auditor General was in 2014 given an operational independence to undertake audits and to provide assurance on use of public resources on behalf of the citizens of Uganda through Parliament.

In the system of governance in Uganda, responsibility and accountability go together. The Executive collects, disburses and manages public funds. Each government agency is answerable to the public and the taxpayers, on the manner in which it performs its stewardship functions. The institution of the Office of the Auditor-General, also known as the Supreme Audit Institution of Uganda, has been created by the Constitution and the National Audit Act 2008 to act on behalf of the citizens of Uganda, in providing an independent assurance on the use of public resources (Article 163 of the Constitution).

Consistent with the Constitution, the Auditor General conducts audits, and investigations to assess the efficiency, effectiveness, and accountability of public sector agencies and their programs. Enhancing and strengthening accountability is the central objective of OAG’s audit of public expenditure.

Audit reports on the performance of the government provides opportunity to the legislators, public servants, investors, business leaders, citizen groups, media, development agencies, academicians and other stakeholders to know how public funds are spent and to assess the quality of public administration. This allows public scrutiny of Government operations and generates pressure for honest and productive public servants and facilitates an accountable system of governance necessary for efficient service delivery.

The Office forms part of the Accountability value chain, works with Parliament and the Executive in promoting accountability and good governance as illustrated in accountability cycle below:

 

Public Finance Management Act

Public Finance Management Act

With this Act, consolidation and amendments to provisions in the Budget Act, 2001, repealed the Public Finance and Accountability Act, 2003 and introduced sections for the management of petroleum revenue. Consequently, affecting the Budget calendar by reducing the budget preparation and approval process from twelve to nine months.

The Pub­lic Fi­nance and Man­age­ment bill (PFMA) was passed by par­lia­ment on 27th No­vem­ber 2014. The Pres­i­dent assented to it on 23rd Feb­ru­ary 2015 and it gazetted on 6th March 2015. Though the Act was amended even be­fore it could make its first an­niver­sary, the amend­ments did­n’t af­fect the bud­get­ing process as it re­mained in its to­tal­ity in the Prin­ci­pal Act.

With this par­tic­u­lar process, im­prove­ment in tax col­lec­tion was most likely to be re­al­ized. Un­like un­der the Bud­get Act of 2001, where tax pro­pos­als and al­lo­ca­tions were de­bated well into the start of the fi­nan­cial year which used to dis­rupt the rev­enue col­lec­tion tar­gets be­cause some taxes rev­enues were re­jected, oth­ers re­duced though new ones could be rarely in­tro­duced.

Programme-based Budgeting System

Programme-based Budgeting  System

With this reform Government  aimed  at shifting from output Based Budgeting which had no direct link between allocations and expected outputs. We are glad that by the FY 2016/17, the PBB approach came into use. The budget performance reports were more focused on physical and budget performance with little or no regard to expected outcome.

Reporting  for most MDAs was more on routine activities like payment of contractors (on 2 seed schools in Kyenjojo and Rubirizi) and clearing of arrears, celebrating international days as opposed to strategic level budget achievements that impact quality of service delivery

Key to Program Based Budgeting sought to replace the then ‘Output Based Budgeting’ that had exhibited weaknesses including: instances of mixup of outputs and processes as illustrated in various Ministries Departments and Agencies’ budget documents. The other weakness was the absence of a well-defined system to enforce accountability.

It further hindered MDAs capacity constraints in policy implementation and preparation of results based on sector strategic frameworks and linkages to the budget.

Low commitment of Government to set medium term fiscal framework (aggregate resource envelope) financing continues to affect effective sector implementation in the medium term.

Macro-Economic forecasting reform – IMEM

Macro-Economic forecasting reform – IMEM

With the Integrated Macro Economic Model (IMEM), The Directorate of Economic Affairs finalized the development of the IMEM Model in June 2017. The model is currently being used for economic policy analysis and forecasting. This milestone was a key enhancement of capacity in technical analysis and forecasting of the major macroeconomic aggregates. The model is also being used to assess economy-wide implications of current and planned Government interventions. The IMEM Model is composed of the following three modules;
a) The Computable General Equilibrium (CGE) Model mainly for sectoral analysis,
b) the Macro-Econometric Model (MEM) for macroeconomic analysis and
c) the Micro-Simulation Model (MSM) for social welfare analysis.