Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) have called for an amendment of the Access to Information Act, 2005 to stipulate the roles of the communication officer.
According to the study conducted by Anti Corruption Coalition Uganda ( ACCU), the enactment of the Act has not translated into increased access to information by citizens since the role of attending to requests for information has been left to public communications officer which shouldn’t be the case.
According to the information requests addressed to the selected ministries, departments and agencies ( MDAs) of the government, only 55 received necessary information.
These were out of over 700 requests. For instance, 371 Ugandans requested for information from the office of the auditor general but only 55 received the necessary information among other MDAs.
Speaking to the press at ACCU offices in Ntinda, the Executive Director of ACCU, Marlon Agaba noted whenever the required information is kept secret, acts of corruption continue to increase.
He now recommends government to repeal all restrictive laws that seek to unjustifiably limit the citizens’ exercise and enjoyment of right to access to information in the possession of public bodies.
Agaba also calls upon ministries to urgently comply with their obligation to present annual reports to parliament giving details of information request made to all public bodies.
According to the the latest transparency international Global corruption perception index ,Uganda ranked number 142 out of 180 on the scale of the least to the most corrupt countries in the world making it 38th and 19th most corrupt country globally and in Africa respectively.