The Minister for Presidency, Hon. Babirye Milly Babalanda has reminded Resident District/ City Commissioners (RDCs/ RCCs) that its their cardinal responsibility to ensure that they supervise implementation of all Government programmes and projects in the Country.
This, according to Hon. Babalanda will create transparency and accountability to the population which entrusted the NRM government with the leadership responsibility.
“I want to thank you all for your enormous contribution in ensuring that the implementation of Government programmes and Projects are well monitored but always allow knowledge and logic to guide your decisions. For example, how and when should you monitor Government programmes and what should you look out for in that monitoring? The same questions should also apply to the other bit of your security roles,” she said.
Hon. Babalanda made the remarks while closing a two-day high level regional workshop for RDCs/RCCs/DRDCs/DRCCs and DISOs from Acholi and Lango sub regions at Bomah Hotel, Gulu City on Thursday.
The Minister said as RDCs/RCCs and Deputies, they are expected to undertake their functions as spelled out in the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda and in the Local Government Act.
“You should be a Resident (and not visiting) RDCs in your district of work. You are Resident District Commissioners (RDCs) and not Non-Resident District Commissioners (NRDCs). Visiting RDCs will not be tolerated, going forward,” Hon. Babalanda warned.
“Monitor of all projects or activities being implemented in your respective districts/cities; whether they be government or donor funded. Wherever possible, physically verify what is being done. Advocate for what is right and go against what is wrong,” she added.
The Minister also told the commissioners that apart from chairing security meetings and coordinating all the other security actors in their districts, they are supposed to sensitize the population on security matters and advocate for approaches like community policing in liaison with other actors.
“Mobilize the population to play their roles as citizens. Delivery of government services alone without the citizenry playing their roles of production and income generation at house hold level will not bring the social-economic transformation that we all desire. Also you should attend to all other administrative work that come along with those general functions of the office with swiftness and sensitivity to client needs such as listening to petitions from the population, coordinating crime and security intelligence with technical actors like DISOs and Police etc,” Hon Babalanda urged.
She further underscored the need for teamwork among the commissioners and their colleagues in order to improve service delivery in the communities they serve.
“We introduced the office of the regional commissioners and the regional whips as a way of routinely reminding you of your duties and responsibilities and for you to be able to undertake self-assessments of your operations. I am glad to mention that these offices have performed well and I commend the staff for the good work they continue to offer on my behalf and on the behalf of the secretary office of the President, “she asserted.
“At the President’s office we believe in team work. The creation of these offices was aimed at advancing the spirit of team work and easing our operations.”
At the same workshop, the State Minister for Economic Monitoring, Hon. Beatrice Akello told the participants that they need to have good mobilisation skills to ensure service delivery in their respective districts and cities is not compromised.
“That is our work. When we deliver, even those opposition will have nothing to say apart from crossing to NRM,”Hon. Akello told the commissioners.
She also tasked the commissioners and DISOs to do their work diligently and God will see them through ranks.
“Be result oriented, be in charge of your district don’t fear those politicians. When you do your work diligently, they will respect you. Work together with politicians, build team work them you will get few challenges when doing your work.”
Lt Col. Ambako Kibrai, the Senior Presidential Advisor, RDC Secretariat urged the commissioners and DISOs to always identify with the people in their respective areas of jurisdiction in order to know their challenges and solve them.
“You’re supposed to engage in the economic related activities in your districts. Mobilise communities to support government programs and also monitor if they are clearly implemented,” Lt. Col Kibrai opined.
“Identify with the people; If people don’t come to you for problem solving it will mean that you are not doing your job. You must be clear headed to be able to explain to communities.”
Lt. Col Kibrai also reminded the RDCs/RCCs and DISOs that one of their core roles is to maintain peace and security in their areas and they must ensure that they are preserved.
“Security measures need concerted efforts and team work. At least forge that team work to ensure peace and security is maintained,” he said.
Mr. Mwenyi Davis CM, the Assistant Commissioner Policy Analysis, Office of the President, tipped the commissioners and DISOs on the importance of Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) as a tool for decision making criteria in public policy management.
Regulatory Impact Assessment is a structured and systematic process for selection of the best possible option in public policy management.
“When an issue comes up, establish the available solutions to it. Determine the evaluation criteria for comparing available solutions. Then evaluate and compare the available solutions using the predetermined evaluation criteria as objectively as possible. After that determine the best available solutions among the many options in addressing the identified issues and implement the evaluated and selected option,” Mr. Mwenyi said.
“Before NRM government came to power in 1986, Uganda had a population of over 16 million but due to the good management and policies in addressing issues, more 30 million Ugandans have been born under President Yoweri Museveni’s government,” he added.
Mr. Mwenyi also advised the commissioners and DISOs to always minimize biasness whenever they are to make decisions. He said with biasness, they can make wrong decisions.
“RDCs make a lot of decisions down there but before you make a decision first think about it. Every issue has a number of solutions. You must pass through a criteria for better decision making. As government we serve the interest of people by solving their problems.”
Mr. Felix Olum, the Assistant commissioner- Directorate of Sociology Economic Monitoring and Research (DSEMR) – Office of the President, tasked the RDCs/RCCs and their Deputies to always use every chance possible to popularize government programs in communities.
“The RDCs are everywhere but why are the projects failing? You should strengthen monitoring to ensure that the projects are well implemented,” Mr. Olum said.
The Assistant Commissioner added that the Office of the RDC can contribute to APEX platform through monitoring and making reports so that the Office of the President can intervene.
The APEX Platform is a reform convened by the Office of the President as a high level oversight forum for uptake, learning and executive decision-making to foster transparency, accountability and the Promotion of good governance practices in the delivery of services to citizens.
“We want to use your report for evidence. If you don’t submit the report, how will this work?” Mr. Olum wondered.
On the other hand, Mr. Herbert. B Atuheire, the Principal Human Resource Officer, Office of the President, urged the commissioners and DISOs to always follow the Code of Conduct and Ethics for the Public Service, saying it helps to enforce discipline in the public service and it ensures that public officers perform their duties with dedication, diligence and integrity.
Mr. Atuheire also noted that the tool enables public officers to be loyal to the government and implement government policies without fear or favour.
“The Code of Conduct and Ethics for the Public Service refers to the set of values, standards and rules that regulate the conduct of public officers in their official as well as private lives…It reduces corruption and enhances performance, transparency and accountability,” he explained.
Mr. Atuheire further advised the commissioners to obey instructions of their superior officer in order to be able to properly execute their duties and have a rapport with the latter.
“However if for any reason the order is beyond the limits of recognized propriety, while carrying out the order, you may register protest in writing… but as long as you are not in good books with your supervisor in service, you will definitely lose it.”
The workshop was also attended by the RDC Secretariat and Office of the President Officials, among others.
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