The District integrity Promotion Forum (DIPF) is a state led accountability mechanism which brings together key accountability stakeholders at the district level. The role of Civil Society under the Anticorruption strategy 2014-2019 DIPF is the primary state led accountability platform at the Local Government level as is chaired by the Resident District Commissioner with the Chief Administrative Officer as the secretary. The strategy also recognizes the contribution of the CSOs to the fight against corruption and embraces their participation in this endeavor. The other members of the DIPF are the district police commander, the Inspectorate of Government, Resident State Attorney, the Area Magistrate/Judge, the District Service Commission, District Public Accounts Committee and representative of accountability CSOs among others. The DIPF, by designmeets quarterly to discuss accountability issues arising and secure commitments to address the issues.
In the spirit of the NGO Policy which recognizes the imperative of strengthening the partnership between Government and the NGO sector based on clear principles and practices, TAC has been an active partner in the fight against corruption. To strengthen the capacity of the DIPFS, TAC has partnered with the Directorate of ethics and integrity to conduct trainings and refresher trainings for the DIPFs in the 5 Districts of Soroti, Serere, Katakwi, Kaberamaido and Amuria. This initiative has been effective in providing stakeholder forum for assessing progress and demanding for accountability.TAC has exploited this forum to present accountability issues that are identified during the community meetings, review meetings with the community monitors and joint monitoring exercises conducted with the district technical staff and political arm. The DIPF also discusses key findings from other state accountability institutions like the Auditor General’s report, PPDA Audits of Local governments. Whereas other state accountability institutions have made key recommendations to Local Governments, these have always been kept in the shelves and no action has been taken the DIPF approach therefore comes in to improve on the responsiveness of the local government to accountability issues. Over the last one year the DIPF in the 5 district of Teso have responded to accountability issues amounting to over 15 Billion shillings.
The greatest risk to community involvement in exposing corruption has largely been a result of inaction of the duty bearers on corruption related complaints raised to them. In a baseline survey conducted by TAC 2013, respondents acknowledged that they had been able to detect a corrupt practice but few of them reported to appropriate authorities. They attributed their not reporting to the fact that no action would be taken. With increased responsiveness of Local Government to issues raised the communities are likely to increase citizen engagement and report cases of corruption to the appropriate authorities.When authorities listen, they can both build trust and create incentives for more voice.