Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda Thursday opened the induction retreat for newly appointed members of cabinet at Lake Victoria Serena Resort, Kigo.
The retreat themed “Defining and developing ministerial effectiveness to maintain Steady Progress” builds on the leadership retreat held in Kyankwanzi.
“We must therefore work to transform our country, improve the livelihoods of the people and have a significant impact on the performance of the next Government in terms of service delivery,” Rugunda told the ministers.
For Cabinet to perform, Rugunda said, each and every member of Cabinet must strive to fully exercise the authority vested in him/her by virtue of the portfolios and respective ministerial mandates.
He said the induction is intended to equip ministers with knowledge to understand the processes, challenges, demands and the business of the Cabinet.
“This will position us better and enable us perform our work efficiently, effectively, with a focus on results.”
Rugunda urged the new Cabinet Ministers and Ministers of State to lead by example, and to empower the civil servants to act more swiftly and decisively in conducting public affairs.
“I will now briefly turn to Cabinet: the Constitution vests the President with executive authority.”
He said cabinet is a major instrument through which the President exercises executive authority.
The cardinal responsibility of Cabinet Minister’s in the exercise of their duties is to attend Cabinet meetings.
“Cabinet Minister’s must attend Cabinet and must actively participate in Cabinet Meetings. Ministers should therefore come for meetings prepared to authoritatively deliberate and contribute to collective decision making.”
The performance of a Minister will depend on the strength of the Cabinet system in which they operate but also the overall policy management framework in government, Rugunda said.
He cited the effectiveness of the gate-keeping role of the Cabinet Secretariat as one of the challenges which need to be overcome.
“The Cabinet Secretariat should also step up the Scrutiny of Cabinet Memoranda to enhance the quality of policy and law making in driving our national transformation agenda.”
A Forward Agenda is important because Cabinet meetings should systematically be driven by policy and legislative requirements in Vision 2040, NDP II, and the Election Manifesto, he said.
According to Rugunda, President Yoweri Museveni’s 23 Strategic Guidelines and Directives provide an excellent basis on which Cabinet Secretariat should work with sectors to prioritise key policy and legislation requirements for urgent cabinet attention.