Uganda Threshold Program

  • Grant Total: $10,446,180
  • Signed: March 29, 2007
  • Completed: December 31, 2009

The MCC Board of Directors has approved a two-year, $10.4 million Threshold Program with Uganda.  Uganda’s Threshold Program focuses on decreasing public-sector corruption, particularly in public procurement.  While the government of Uganda has already made significant progress towards creating a legal and institutional framework required to reduce corruption, public-sector corruption remains pervasive. The Threshold program seeks to combat corruption by improving public procurement, audit and financial management practices.  Additionally, the program will help build capacity to allow for more effective follow-up of reported malpractice and strengthen the role of civil society in monitoring corruption.

Increase the Rate of Successful Prosecutions

The key organizations that form the enforcement chain, from detection to prosecution, suffer from critical gaps in human and technological capacity.  As a result, the Inspector General has only completed investigations for 30 percent of the complaints it has received since 2002; meanwhile, the number of prosecuted corruption cases as a share of those that were investigated fell from 43 percent in 2003 to only 18 percent in 2005.  This component of the program aims to enhance the ability of four key anti-corruption agencies to investigate, prosecute, and adjudicate corruption cases quickly and successfully through the following activities.

  • Support and train investigators; provide necessary equipment and logistical support; provide for the outsourcing of certain investigative and forensic services; and create a whistleblower and witness protection program.
  • Support and train prosecutors; provide necessary equipment and logistical support; develop online legal resources; and provide for the outsourcing of legal services.
  • Support the establishment and decentralization of the Anti-Corruption Court; and provide legal aid for complainants and victims of corruption.
Reduce Corruption Related to Public Procurement

More than 90 percent of the complaints sent to Uganda’s Inspector General’s office are procurement related.  This is especially significant because 65 percent of Uganda’s total budget passes through the public procurement system each year.  The Office of the Auditor General (OAG) and the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Authority (PPDA) are both legally independent and autonomous, yet, because they lack capacity, their directives often go unheeded.  Through the following activities, the program aims to reduce procurement-related corruption by building capacity within the OAG and PPDA.

  • Build capacity within the PPDA by improving procurement systems.  Specifically, this activity seeks to improve financial management systems; increase the frequency of central government and local government audits; more effectively follow-up on procurement audit findings; develop a national system for certification of procurement professionals; and establish a procurement providers’ registry.
  • Improve audit systems by addressing a lack of human and logistical capacity at the OAG so that technical findings and recommendations will be better understood by recipients.  The program will fund training seminars for audit recipient agencies, the training of OAG staff to conduct audits, and the provision of coordination and logistical support in the form of equipment and technology.
  • Convene quarterly meetings of the Inter-Agency Forum where five anti-corruption agencies and two civil society organizations will share key information.
  • Offer technical support to anti-corruption agencies to reform and streamline the handling of corruption cases to remove administrative bottlenecks.
Strengthen the Role of Civil Society in the Fight Against Corruption

A majority of Ugandans are unaware of the existing legal framework to prosecute corrupt public officials and believe that they have limited access to government and other sources of anti-corruption information.  With this in mind, this component seeks to enable civil society organizations to better identify, monitor, expose, and secure public redress against corruption.

  • Involve civil society organizations in the Inter-Agency Forum and provide technological, equipment and logistical support to the Inter-Agency Forum.
  • Build human and technological capacity for civil society organizations.
  • Support the Directorate of Ethics and Integrity’s public information campaign and support national awareness campaigns and the dissemination of critical public information by civil society organizations.
  • Provide legal aid for public complainants and victims of corruption and support branding materials, notably the National Book of Shame and the annual anti-corruption awards.