Shifting payments online expected to boost local governments
December 11—Moving payments online is expected to improve the finances of local governments across Uganda with the official launch of e-Log Rev System, the local government revenue collection and management information system.
Uganda has well over 100 district administrations and most of them depend on central government transfers to operate. This has called into question rationale of creating new districts (which has been suspended) and the objective of bringing services closer to the people.
The State minister for Local Government, Jennifer Namuyangu said, “Currently local governments are only able to fund 5% of their annual budgets and yet they have the capacity to facilitate at least 50% of their budgets. But because they do not have an efficient system that can help them to track revenue collection and their tax payers, they continue to burden the central government. We are hoping this system will change all that.”
The new system is part of the bigger Egovernment programme that was launched by the Prime Minister’s office and is already making a positive difference in Kiira and Jinja.
With the system in place, tax payers in the districts will be able to self-register, submit applications, do payments, track their payments, do individual assessments and also seek out any information they need without physically going to officials. The system will also improve transparency in revenue management as well as minimize inconvenience to the tax payer.
However, speaking during the same event, Frank Tumwebaze, the ICT minister, asked government agencies and ministries that are using any electronic systems to work hand in hand with the National Information Technology Authority (Nita) to secure these systems from cyber-attacks.
“I commend government agencies that have rolled out the e-systems. These have a number of advantages like efficiency, accountability and eliminating corruption. However, these systems are online and are vulnerable to cyber-attacks. That is why it is necessary to secure them with NITA, the government agency that was tasked to make sure that all e-governance systems are secured,” Tumwebaze said.