Overview of transparency in the construction sector


The Hoima-Kaiso Tonya road is part of the Kabwoya-Kyenjojo project in the Albertine RegionIt is estimated that addressing Uganda's infrastructure challenges requires sustained expenditure of around $1.4 billion per year over the next decade. The Uganda already spends approximately $1 billion per year on infrastructure, equivalent to about 11 per cent of GDP.


Existing efforts to enhance transparency and accountability in the construction of infrastructure in Uganda include Transparency International (TI) which focuses on promoting transparency and accountability in service delivery and community empowerment in the areas of education, health and extractive industries. The 2003 Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets (PPDA) Act requires Procurement and Disposal Entities, like the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA), to promote transparency, accountability and fairness in procurement including publishing of bid evaluation results before contracts are awarded. In addition to that, the World Bank (WB) and African Development Bank (AfDB) keep UNRA committed to implementation of the Governance and Accountability Action Plan (GAAP) for all projects which the banks finance.

Uganda joins CoST 

Uganda committed to disclose information using the Infrastructure Data Standard to enhance transparency, accountability and stakeholder participation, in the delivery of infrastructure projects in 2013 when the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) applied on behalf of Government to CoST International, to support its work in enhancing transparency and value for money in the sector. 

Scoping Study reveals significantly low level of disclosure

The CoST Scoping Study (2017) revealed a gap in the legal framework, only 12 of the 40 pro-actively disclosed data points as outlined in the CoST Infrastructure Data Standard are legally recognised, and for the projects assessed within the Scoping Study, only 20% of these 12 points were disclosed. CoST believes in dialogue, mutual understanding and evidence-based engagement; through its multi-stakeholder approach, government, industry and civil society come together to pursue infrastructure transparency. In Uganda, various stakeholders have expressed appreciation on the CoST approach, noting that it is not “political”, but an initiative that appreciates the challenges in public infrastructure and liaises with all relevant actors on how to address them for better service delivery. 

Progress to-date

As CoST Uganda strives to institutionalise CoST across government, CoST supported the alignment of the Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) USER platform for disclosure to the Infrastructure Data Standard; KCCA also participated in the First Assurance Process and levels of disclosure are increasing rapidly, of late, infrastructure information, despite challenges faced in the city, is being shared on KCCA’s social media platforms, Radio and Television talk shows. 

CoST work is also being extended to local governments. Wakiso District Local Government was among the pilot districts to embrace CoST. Wakiso District has worked with CoST on the 10.2 KM road under construction, Namasuba – Ndejje- Kitiko in Makindye Ssabagabo Municipality. CoST has supported Wakiso District to comply with the legal framework on procurement and implementation; a consultant was procured to supervise the project and extensive engagement was carried out with the community who in turn offered land without requesting compensation. Leaders have also come on board to appreciate the work of CoST, road project disclosure was enhanced after the findings and recommendations from the First Assurance Report. 

Efforts to further CoST across the country are on the rise. As the country programme has established partnership with the Office of the Prime Minister – Baraza Unit to enhance the accountability on infrastructure projects, but also, as an avenue to popularise the core features and the Infrastructure Data Standard. The national programme has also developed tools to inform monitoring transparency of infrastructure projects at central and local levels. 

Date Published: 27 April 2014
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