Uganda Threshold Program

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

MCC selected Uganda to participate in the Threshold Program in FY 2006. When Uganda was selected as eligible for a threshold program, it did not meet the compact eligibility criteria in the Ruling Justly category.  The government proposed its threshold program focus on preventing corruption and strengthening enforcement of the law because of corruption’s role in impairing service delivery, diverting scare resources, and undermining the legitimacy of government. 

The Uganda threshold program targeted policy areas measured by one of MCC’s indicators for compact eligibility, Control of Corruption. Uganda’s threshold program had three components, or projets, that focused on preventing corruption in public procurement, increasing the effectiveness of investigations and prosecutions, and strengthening the role of civil society in the fight against corruption.

Uganda Threshold Program Implementation

The Uganda threshold program agreement was signed in March 2007. The program concluded in December 2009. As the program administrator, USAID managed program operations and oversaw the program implementers: Associates in Rural Development, Inc., U.S. Department of Justice’s International Criminal Investigative Training Assistance Program, and U.S. Department of Justice’s Overseas Prosecutorial Development Assistance and Training division. 

Program Achievements

Uganda’s threshold program focused on anti-corruption efforts in the public procurement sector. The threshold program supported the publication and distribution of 17 procurement audits of government entities through the advocacy of civil society and with support from the media.  An Anti-Corruption Division of the High Court was established under the prosecution strengthening component. It tried and convicted three high-profile corruption cases early in its existence. The program also leveraged civil society activism and supported the production and publication of a National Book of Fame and Shame.  This document received national attention because of its candid presentations of public perceptions of those who were most corrupt and who contributed to anti-corruption efforts. 

Strengthen the Role of Civil Society in the Fight Against Corruption

Objective

Strengthen Ugandan civil society organizations to raise public awareness of them, and enhance the ability of these organizations and citizens to fight corruption more effectively.

Activities

  1. Involved civil society organizations in the Inter-Agency Forum, and provided technological, equipment and logistical support to the forum.
  2. Provided training and technological support for civil society organizations.
  3. Supported the Directorate of Ethics and Integrity’s public information campaign, supported national awareness campaigns, and the dissemination of critical public information by civil society organizations. 
  4. Provided legal aid for public complainants and victims of corruption. 
  5. Supported the creation of public awareness materials, notably the National Book of Shame and annual Anti-Corruption Awards.
Increase the Rate of Successful Prosecutions

Objective

Improve the government’s capacity to detect, investigate, prosecute and adjudicate corruption cases, especially those related to procurement, quickly and successfully, by supporting four key anti-corruption agencies.

Activities

  1. Supported and trained investigators; provided necessary equipment, vehicles and logistical support; provided for the outsourcing of certain investigative and forensic services; and created a whistleblower and witness protection program.
  2. Trained and supported prosecutors; provided necessary equipment, vehicles and logistical support; developed online legal resources; and provided for the outsourcing of legal services.
  3. Provided support for the establishment and decentralization of the Anti-Corruption Court; and provided legal aid for complainants and victims of corruption.
Reduce Corruption Related to Public Procurement

Objective

Prevent corruption by improving public procurement, audit, and financial management practices. 

Activities

  1. Improved procurement systems within the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Authority by:
    1. Improving financial management systems;
    2. Increasing the frequency of central government and local government audits;
    3. more effectively following up on procurement audit findings;
    4. developing a national system for certification of procurement professionals; and
    5. establishing a Procurement Providers’ Register.
  2. Improved audit systems by addressing a lack of human and logistical capacity at the Office of the Auditor General (OAG) so that technical findings and recommendations would be better understood by recipients. This was accomplished by:
    1. Providing training seminars for audit recipient agencies;
    2. Training OAG staff to conduct audits; and
    3. Providing coordination and logistical support in the form of equipment, vehicles and technology.
  3. Convening quarterly meetings of the Inter-Agency Forum, where five anti-corruption agencies and two civil society organizations shared key information.
  4. Offering technical support to anti-corruption agencies to remove administrative bottlenecks by reforming and streamlining the handling of corruption cases.