District leaders under the Uganda Local Government Association (ULGA) have decried poor funding which has led to poor service delivery in the country.
While reacting to the Budget statement by the Minister of State for Finance, David Bahati, ULGA President, Godfrey Mutabazi noted that the manner in which funding is being channeled to local governments can’t allow proper service delivery to Ugandans.
“Funding to Local governments is so alarming given that the cumulative number of local government administrative units increased by more than half between FY 2016/17 and FY 2017/18 at 56 percent,” Mutabazi said.
Mutabazi said that with such meager funding, local governments which support and implement government manifesto and development programmes can’t perform their services adequately.
“ULGA recommends that Parliament enacts a legal provision or a separate law to establish a minimum share of the local government of the National Budget in order to shield the local government share from deductions.”
Mutabazi as well noted that there is an increased inconsistency in Central government policies and guidelines which is greatly affecting the role of Local governments.
Mutabazi gave an example of the different positions communicated by the Ministry of Public Services and Ministry of Education regarding recruitment of primary teachers.
“The Local Government Act (s.90) and PFMA Act (s.48) regarding submission of audit reports, with the most recent being the Presidential Directive on Management of taxi/bus parks in urban councils; these policy changes encroach on the devolved powers and responsibilities of Local Governments and are at the same time disseminated midway during implementation, affecting budget execution.”
ULGA recommended that Government must ensure prior reconciliation of policies as well as disseminating them in a timely and appropriate manner to enhance local government performance.