Decentralisation and financial management in Uganda’s local governments: A case study of Mbarara District, 2001 - 2006.
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The aim of the study was to investigate into the extent to which finances are managed under the policy of decentralization in Uganda, particularly in Mbarara District. The study specifically sought to establish the capacity of financial management by the local administrators in Mbarara district, to investigate whether there is transparency and accountability in financial management and to suggest views on how to improve the financial management process in Local Administrations. The researcher employed both qualitative and quantitative approaches. Data was collected using questionnaires and interviews in addition to primary and secondary sources of information. The findings revealed that although Mbarara District had human resource capacity to handle finances, there is lack of integrity among the administrators. The study also established that there are several factors that hinder the success of financial management in Local Governments. These include limited funding, interference by politicians, corruption, and general lack of integrity and ethical conduct among the administrators. It was concluded that a high level of unethical behavior was demonstrated by the local administrators in management of finances at the district. The researcher, however, believes that if more emphasis is put on capacity building by training staff and instill ethical and moral in the workers, this would lead to producing morally upright human resources who would in turn respect their offices. The study also recommends full participation of all stakeholders in the management of finances at the local level. The study suggested a number of recommendations based on the findings to help improve on the financial management in local governments. These included enhancing of ethics and integrity in financial management and accountability, improving conditions of service to the employees, improve general supervision and monitoring, educate the masses on their rights, and instill ethical values in the youth to achieve better future managers, adherence to codes of conduct and participation of all stakeholders.