Public needs timely info, gov’t told Government has been tasked to provide timely information to the public to keep the people abreast of new developments in the country.

"This will make the citizens to be aware of government's programs and hold the leaders accountable," Julius Mukunda, a coordinator of Civil Society Budget Advocacy Group said on Sunday.

He was briefing reporters during the celebrations to mark International Right to Know Day celebrations at Uganda Debt Network headquarters in Kampala.

Mukunda blamed government for sometimes hiding information or coming out too late to disseminate information to the masses and yet the 1995 Constitution guarantees citizens to the right to access of information from government and its agencies.

"Access to information is a fundamental right that is operationalized by Access to Information Act 2005," Patrick Tumwebaze, the executive director of Uganda Debt Network said.

"Even when the government produces the in-year reports on a monthly basis, public dissemination is only done after six months. This complicates public efforts to hold the central and local governments accountable since reports are made available long after the implementation periods," he stated.

Tumwebaze however, hailed government for improving the level of budget transparency.

 Uganda ranks high in access to budget informationUganda holds the first position in East Africa and 18th globally in respect of easy public access to information about the National Budget and financial activities.

The Open Budget Survey 2012 results indicate that Uganda scored 65% ease of access.

Kenya is in the second position with 49%, Tanzania follows with 47% and Rwanda 8%.

Globally, Uganda is ranked 18th out of the 100 countries surveyed, with a score much higher than the average of 43%, indicating that the Government was found to be more vigilant in ensuring that its citizens adequately get access to significant budget information that helps in holding government accountable.

South Africa, the best in Africa, scored 90% globally.

The survey was conducted by the Uganda Debt Network (UDN) in collaboration with the International Budget Partnership (IBP), a US-based independent think tank.

 13 years of UPE success but daunting challenges remainTHE Uganda Debt Network (UDN) recently released a damning report on the state of education in universal primary (UPE) and universal secondary education (USE) schools. However, all is not lost since the advent of UPE in 1997 and USE four years ago.

The UDN report followed a survey in selected schools in which parts of classrooms were found to have been converted into teachers' accommodation, pupils shared latrines with teachers, girls and boys shared latrines and pupils studied in highly congested classrooms without desks.

However, despite the seemingly gloomy picture, the implementation of UPE and USE policies by President Yoweri Museveni's Governments have been land-mark developments in Uganda's education history.

First, Uganda was the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to introduce USE. One of the greatest achievements of UPE was the substantial increment in primary schools enrollment from around three million to over five million children in 1997 to todays over eight million.

With the introduction of USE, secondary schools enrollment also rose by over 100,000 to the current 790,000. The same programmes also saw education taking the lion share of the national budget, coming off the 7% in the 1990s to over 15% today.

The wealth bias that characterized access to primary education prior to the programmes have been eliminated. The 20% poorest households now have as high enrollment as the 20% richest households; with the 84% to 85% respective access to primary education, according to a 2004 World Bank study.