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Netherlands supports the Justice Law and Order Sector’s Reform plan

KAMPALA - The Netherlands Embassy has disbursed the first instalment of its support to the Justice Law and Order Sector reform programme. This follows the signing of an arrangement between the Government of Uganda and the Netherlands Embassy in Kampala, by which the Netherlands will fund 42% of the activities and investments of the said reform programme for the financial year 2011-2012, to a maximum of UGX 20 bln.

The programme focuses on improving access to justice for all and enhancing respect for human rights across JLOS institutions.

Ambassador Jeroen Verheul welcomed the progress made in the Justice Law and Order Sector in the last year and indicated that this progress justifies continued support by the Netherlands to the sector. Physical access to justice has greatly improved, and the average time prisoners spend on remand has been reduced significantly. He noted, however, that concerns remain over accountability and limited progress in tackling corruption.

“That is why the current work plan is focusing on strengthening disciplinary and inspection commissions in institutions”, Mr Verheul said.

Whereas in previous years, the Netherlands provided sector budget support, Uganda no longer qualifies for this modality. “On top of governance concerns that have to do with a lack of accountability, we have seen a significantly weaker performance in the areas of macroeconomic and budget management in the last fiscal year”, adds Mr Verheul.

“The government and parliament in the Netherlands are assessing countries that receive budget support more critically on issues of political and financial governance and want to be assured that Dutch tax payers’ money is spent impeccably. This is why the Netherlands has decided to move away from the sector budget support modality for Uganda, as basic conditions for that type of support are not here anymore”, he explains.

Under the new agreement, the Dutch funds can only be used for the JLOS reorm programme, and not for the general JLOS budget that covers wages and other recurrent costs. This will enable the Dutch Embassy to monitor the spending more closely.

The Netherlands is a long standing partner of the JLOS, and is currently chairing the JLOS Donor Partners Group which regularly meets to coordinate support and to discuss progress in the sector.

 

Published: October 9, 2011