I am glad to address you today at the opening of this annual retreat which is meant to refresh you about your roles and to harmonise the way we work to consolidate improvement of the delivery of services to our people in local governments.
I would like to state from the outset that you play a very important and commendable role in monitoring the implementation of government programs. You are our eyes and ears on the ground in your respective districts. I want to thank and salute you for the hard work and many hours you put in to ensure that Government programs are well implemented.
This retreat is unique in its character, timing and composition.
It is unique because it is not every day that you have RDCs, Deputy RDCs, CAOs and DISOs from across the country, meeting under one roof to discuss ways of improving service delivery to the wanainchi.
Your composition makes up the most crucial team with what it takes to make a difference in the lives of our people at the local levels. You have what it takes to ensure value for money, provision of political oversight under a secure environment for the implementation of the NRM manifesto and the Vision 2040 of transforming Uganda into a prosperous nation.
I also want to add that his retreat could not have come at a better time than now. It is timely because in less than one year, we will be returning to the citizens of Uganda, who are our real masters to account to them about how we have implemented the contract we made with them in 2011.
We are therefore in the last lap of the relay and as such, we must increase and step up the momentum of demonstrating results of what we have done for the people. You are the people at the forefront of running this critical part of the race. We are counting on you in many ways.
As a Government, we are always exploring ways of improving systems, structures and mechanisms for improving our performance. This retreat is one of those ways.
This retreat provides us with the opportunity to reflect on your performances over the year and to pro-actively discuss innovative ways of doing business better in your respective offices.
In order to further provide more effective working methods for the RDCs and Deputy RDCs particularly, Government has adopted new measures for integrating your work into the National Monitoring and Evaluation System.
As matter of context, H.E President Museveni directed last year, that the Office of The Prime Minister takes the lead in working out mechanisms for involvement of Political Leaders, Members of Parliament, RDCs and Councilors in monitoring the implementation of Government programs and projects.
That directive was in addition to other steps by Government in strengthening Community Based Monitoring through the Sub – County information exchange platforms also known as Barazas and through regular inspection and reporting by RDCs to OPM and to the Office of the President.
I would like to inform you that The Office of The Prime Minister has come up with a series of reforms aimed at strengthening Monitoring and Inspection in the Public Sector and integrating Local Government structures in National Monitoring and Evaluation.
Some of these reforms include:
First, is the National Policy on Monitoring and Evaluation of the Public Sector. This was approved in 2013. The Policy defines the Objectives, Principles and Structures governing monitoring and evaluation in the Country and articulates the roles and responsibilities of each stakeholder at the Central and Local Council level as well as the key stakeholders. This policy can be found on the OPM website. I encourage you to use the Policy as a guiding instrument in playing your roles.
Second, is the National Performance Assessment Mechanism. This is a comprehensive system through which the Office of The Prime Minister assesses the performance of all Government Institutions including Local Governments and presents it at six monthly Government Retreats addressed by the President and attended by Ministers, Permanent Secretaries and Local Government Leaders.
The last of these retreats took place last month. I hope you have been availed with reports from that retreat, because they provided some very instructive indicators on Local Governments that require urgent attention by you the team that is gathered here.
I would like to encourage you all to take special interest in these reports as one the main tools in the execution of your duties.
In preparing these Government Performance Reports, we rely on reports on the implementation of Sub – County and District Barazas which are chaired by the RDCs.
The Barazas Implementation Reports are specifically important in highlighting the views of the wanainchi on service delivery and on monitoring the implementation of Government work. You can therefore clearly see that you play a critical role in this regard.
I would like to mention that during the retreat last month, it was noted that there was the absence of critical data from different departments and agencies which would inform proper analysis. I would like to request you therefore, to pay particular attention in gathering facts and figures to enable us obtain credible information.
I know that during the coming days, you will be taken through various initiatives that have been instituted to ensure more effective monitoring and evaluation of Government activities and programs. I would like to encourage you to engage in robust discussions and to share experiences and distil good practices that have worked in your respective districts.
It is important that we appreciate that it is only through sharing experiences in a candid, open and honest manner, that we will be able to learn from one another and address the challenges we face.
No one knows everything, and no one knows nothing. Therefore, your collective wisdom should be put to bear during this retreat.
I thank you for listening and would like to take this opportunity to declare this.
Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda’s speech to RDCs, DISO’s and CAO’s here at Kyankwanzi