By Yang Ater Yang
Public voices from various institutions in Lakes State, urge the government to promote accountability and transparency.
The concerns were raised during a 2- day public accountability and transparency forum organized by Amalna organization with support from Norwegian People’s aid and UNDP in Rumbek on Friday.
Over 50 participants from different institutions and civil society groups attended the forum.
Laat Mathiang Bol, deputy chairperson of Anti-Corruption Commission in Lakes State, among those in support, said accountability and transparency begin with an individual.
“We need to be held accountable for what we are doing. Second, we need to commit ourselves to participate in all government corners. If you don’t participate who will change this nation for us,” the anti-corruption official questioned.
Meanwhile, Garnob Makur, one of the participants reiterated the need for the state government to engage the citizens in policy and decision-making process.
“When the government wants to implement a project or formulate a policy, citizens need to be consulted,” he said.
He cited that the Constitution of South Sudan puts it clearly that anything that needs to be purchased with public monies or sale off public property, must to be done in transparent and accountable manner.
“When the government wants to make disposal of public assets, the citizens have a right to know much through tendering and biding and buy those assets, but that is not the case here,” he observed.
Makur expressed concern that the practice on ground differs from that in the constitution.
“Government officials are the ones that are aware of what to do with public assets. Constitutional post holders or their relatives buy the disposed-off items with the notice of the citizens” Makur added.
Meanwhile, Mabor Kau Akec, a representative from the ministry of finance in Lakes State cites the need for partners to organize budget conference to create public awareness on budget.
“We will request partners, Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA), and United Nations Development Program (UNDP) to organize a budget conference because this issue of budget is seen as a public demand,” he said.
Mabor said that organizing a budget conference needed the support and attendance of all the stakeholders from various institutions including partners.