Project Case Study
Disruption of corruption in Uganda
Detecting and deterring endemic public sector corruption and recovering illicit assets
Reducing corruption is one of the Government of Uganda’s main priorities – making it riskier to engage in corrupt practices, reducing opportunities for corruption and recovering ill-gotten gains.
Reducing corruption is critical if Uganda is to meet its ambitiously set target of achieving middle-income status by the year 2020. As identified by the World Economic Forum, corruption is the greatest obstacle to doing business in Uganda, and the country had long been on the international Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Watchlist. This has the potential of depriving Uganda of much needed Foreign Direct Investment. The large amounts of public funds lost to corruption also deprives Ugandans of much needed public services and limits investment in critical infrastructure.
Recognising that the solutions have to be home-grown and owned by Ugandans who know the source of the problems best, we, together with experts at the International Centre on Asset Recovery at the Basel Institute on Governance, worked closely with our counterparts to jointly identify the most appropriate solutions, and developed a range of measures that would reduce corruption, especially by public officials.
For example, the Inspector General of Government and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions used Uganda’s asset recovery and new money laundering legislation to pursue high-profile corruption. As a result, Uganda won its first anti-money laundering convictions and issued the largest single recovery order ever awarded in Uganda – £12 million.
We also worked closely with the Financial Intelligence Authority to take the necessary actions to remove Uganda from the FATF Watchlist.
- The use of financial intelligence increased significantly and is now regularly informing investigations by the anti-corruption commission, the public prosecutor’s office and the revenue authority
- In 2017 intelligence from the Financial Intelligence Agency led to the identification of £1.4 million in tax evasion which has been earmarked for recovery in 2018
- The Anti-Corruption Court reduced the average duration of cases by 25%
- Uganda was removed from the FATF Watchlist of non-compliant jurisdictions, removing a major constraint to international financial flows to Uganda.