In order to raise the consciousness of citizens to appreciate that corruption has a devastating impact on service delivery, and the need to fight it, Action Aid Uganda, a non-profit agency with her partners created a digital platform where people can report the vice. Mr Phillip Kabuye, the project officer explains how ipaid a bribe platform is being used in the war against corruption.
Q: What is I Paid a bribe about?
A: IPaidABribe is a citizen driven mechanism for tracking bribe payment activity, as also instances of when people resisted bribe payments or did not have to pay bribes because of good government systems or good people within the government systems. Citizens' reports on the nature, number, pattern, types, locations and frequency of actual corrupt acts and values of bribes will add up to a valuable knowledge bank that will contribute to a reduction in bribe payments
Q: What does I paid a bribe Uganda hope to achieve?
A: By providing a place for citizens to report, as well as by analysing the information, ipaidabribe platform aims to heighten citizen consciousness about the nature and spread of bribe-related exchanges and promote a purposive public debate that pressurises public officials to reduce and eventually eliminate corruption. It also intended to help citizens to recognize, avoid and tackle bribe paying situations.
Identify and analyse the workflows within corruption prone public services, to make suggestions on systemic reform directed at entrenching simpler and more transparent processes, more consistent standards of law enforcement and better vigilance and regulation.
Q: Where in Uganda is the project being implemented?
A: Since corruption and other incidents of bribery can occur everywhere in the country, we can also implement it everywhere. The vice affects everyone. However, because we have to consider operational logistics and related resources, we are mainly active in all areas where Action Aid Uganda operates. That is in central, northern eastern and mid-western Uganda.
Q: How do I make a bribe report?
A: If you have any case you want to report, you can use an internet café and share your experience with us; or you can call our toll free line so that we capture that story.
Q: What is beyond reporting?
A: The platform provides space to people to speak about corruption and helps us generate information for use in other spaces and engagements. The broader aim is to use the data to make detailed recommendations on how government can eliminate the avenues of corruption. We will also work hand in hand with the responsible government authorities like police, and the Inspector general of government to ensure corruption cases are followed to logical conclusion.
Q:How do you cater for people who have complaints related to corruption in public offices but do not have the access to phones and computers to report?
A: We always organise public meetings or barazas where citizens raise their complaints about poor service delivery and any corruption cases in public offices. We invite public officers like district chairmen, sub-county officials, civil servants among others to come and respond to the accusations. These are wonderful spaces that help office bearers to know that the public is watching them which improves efficiency and value for tax payers' money.
In addition, we organise school debates with wide ranging topics related to accountability and integrity in public offices and society. The debates are helping us to raise the consciousness of learners, who are future political and business leaders appreciate the value of integrity. The debates have been held in Hoima, Masindi, Nwoya, Pakwach, Nebbi among other areas and the topic ranged from the utilisation of natural resources like oil and gas. Students have formed active debating clubs which are used to promote integrity.