Paper presented at the South African Association of Public Administration and Management (SAAPAM) 9th Annual Conference, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, 30-31 October 2008. The Conference theme was "Consolidating state capacity".
The rationale for control and accountability in public administration and
management is to ensure efficient and effective resource utilisation to
foster public service provision, good governance and development.
Thus, any movement towards more professional ethos in public sector
management demands improved prudence in resource utilisation, increased
responsiveness to the citizenry, transparency and, generally accountability.
This paper presents and discusses the findings of a research study conducted to
examine how the external control agencies of the Office of the Auditor-General
(OAG) and the Inspectorate of Government (IG) have enhanced local government
systems and processes towards accountability in Uganda. It is demonstrated that local
government systemic problems are complex and diverse, and that the accountability
deficiency is more ingrained in the inherently weak systems and processes prevalent
in local governments (LGs). It is argued that the mere crackdown on those who
abuse public authority and misuse public resources do not necessarily improve
accountability and public sector effectiveness. Instead, identifying the organisationalstructural
deficiencies and possible system reforms would be more appropriate
to alleviate the problem. Commitment should thus, be put to undertaking system
studies geared at improving systems and processes rather than mere inspections and
monitoring exercises that encourage administrative tourism.