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Cabinet Approves New Public Service Reforms

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Mbabazi was opening the 2nd Public Sector Innovation Conference at Hotel Africana today (Monday).

“Once the proposals are implemented, we hope to see a transformation from processes that are rooted in the past to those that can drive ‘smarter government’, he said.

Members of Parliament, Permanent Secretaries and development partners attended the on-going two-day conference organised by the Ministry of Public service under the theme “Transforming Uganda through process innovation”.

Mbabazi called for modernisation of public service delivery systems to solve government inefficiency, saying the measure would save billions of shillings spent on unnecessary processes annually.

He singled out procurement systems which cause money to be returned to the treasury, and procedures for patients to access treatment in public health facilities.

He said these could be reduced or eliminated if a thorough review was made.

“I share in the burning irritation of so many Ugandans, including businessmen, parents, pensioners, passport applicants and those registering land, who are frustrated by the public sector cumbersome processes,” Mbabazi noted.

He said the reform programme had been delayed by some traditional civil servants resisting change, warning that the change would come anyway and they would be ‘caught off-guard’.

Mbabazi noted that red tape in government was a leading cause of corruption, with businessmen taking too long to secure construction permits, forced to corrupt the system or put up illegal structures, leading to the proliferation of slums.

The Minister of State for Public Service, Seezi Mbaguta and the Ministry’s acting Permanent secretary, Adah Muwanga, said the conference would drive an organised public sector through simpler processes, better connections, networking and informal collaboration in innovation.

Kasese District Local Government was the overall winner of the 2013 Public service Innovation Awards. It built stone-arch bridges which helped connect communities, boost agriculture and spur business, cutting procurement costs in the district by over 80 percent.

The Courts of Judicature introduction of the small claims procedure enabled it to top the ‘Simplifying Public Service Processes’ category. The measure reduced the cost of litigation because anybody can now lodge small claims of up to Shs 5m without involving advocates.

Kole District Local Government won the ICT category for digitising its records and cutting costs by five times. The Defence Ministry earned kudos for empowering vulnerable groups by accessing soldiers’ spouses to the Wazalendo SACCO funds.

Other finalists included the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, Pius Bigirimana, Dr Albert Byamugisha, the commissioner for monitoring and evaluation in the Office of the Prime Minister, and the Ministry of Energy and Minerals.

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