The Prime Minister Dr Ruhakana Rugunda has urged all government Ministries, Departments and Agencies to intensify their efforts towards enhancing service delivery in the country.

PM Rugunda delivers his remarks during the GAPR FY 2016-17 retreat at the Office of the President Conference Hall on Thursday(Photo by PMPU)

Dr Rugunda singled out the challenges of land acquisition and compensation for infrastructure development as some of the critical issues that must be urgently addressed to accelerate the pace of implementing key government projects crucial for national development and improved service delivery.

The Premier made the remarks during the 3-day Government Annual Performance Report (GAPR) retreat for financial 2016/ 2017 organized under the theme “Enhanced Productivity for Job Creation” at the Office of the President Conference Hall.

The Government Annual Performance Report aims at providing timely, and accurate information to policy makers, particularly Cabinet and Parliament on the performance of Government. It also analyses the outputs and outcomes that are being realized in terms of actual changes in the quality, access and utilization of public services, governance and security.

In addition, GAPR reviews the performance of the financial support mobilized both domestically and externally thus providing accountability of the national budget expenditure for FY2016/17, as well as outlining key areas of good performance, under-performance and opportunities for policy redress.

This year’s GAPR focused on the overall national goal of achieving a middle income status by 2020 through commercialization of agriculture, acceleration of industrialization, and increasing production and productivity in all sectors of the economy.

Rugunda noted that a number of sectors have still failed to adhere to the established government criteria of effectively identifying national priorities, actions and targets as well as implementing plans for improved performance and effective service delivery.

“I would like to task all the accounting officers to ensure that they address the matter of effective service delivery. In addition, I call upon the Office of the Prime Minister, and Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, to explore the possibility of organizing a Lab for the whole of Government on the new ways of executing government business,” the Premier said.

OPM PS Christine Guwatudde Kintu with IGG Irene Mulyagonja interacts after the GAPR FY 2016-17 retreat at the Office of the President Conference Hall on Thursday(Photo by PMPU)

He also said some of the key issues that need to be considered for enhanced performance include: reforms in procurement processes, participation of local firms and individuals in infrastructure development, effective operation and maintenance of public assets as well as environmental and social impact assessments in the execution of projects.

The Premier said issues of low staffing levels and capacity especially in local governments should be addressed urgently by the responsible officers as guided by the GAPR recommendations.

He urged the sectors to attach priority to the GAPR timing and activities to enable them deliver accurate reports and results during the retreat.

The 1st Deputy Prime Minister, Hon. Moses Ali, advised the participants to device ways of solving problems in their sector without necessary waiting for GAPR.

According the sector review performance report, the overall sector performance was above average and slightly better than that of the previous financial year.

Most of the sectors reported that lack of funding and financial budget cuts were some of the primary causes for their sectors’ poor and under performance.

Some of the emerging issues raised during the retreat included persistent high rate of absenteeism in local governments, poor quality of agriculture inputs, poor maintenance and operation of public infrastructure, persistent lack of data on performance indicators, limited linkages between GAPR recommendations and the budget priorities and delays in land acquisition for public investments among others.

The agreed key actions included guiding MDAs on formulation of indicators and data management, government ensuring that there is a proper balance between construction of new roads and maintenance, reviewing and enforcing performance contracts for civil servants especially in local governments and improving the monitoring and supervision of projects as well as taking corrective action among others.

The retreat was attended by a number of key government officials including ministers, Permanent Secretaries, ambassadors and representatives of local governments.

Friday, September 08, 2017