How We Work
SUpporting the Anti-corruption chain
SUGAR TAF takes a holistic approach at looking at the whole anti-corruption chain within Uganda and working with institutions across the chain.
The anti-corruption response chain is made up of all the Government institutions that, together, fulfil core functions in the response to corruption, such as detection, investigation, prosecution and adjudication of corruption cases. The 'end products' of the chain are criminal, civil, and administrative sanctions for corrupt officials, and recovery of illicit assets. An effective anti-corruption response requires that all the institutions involved are able to perform their roles and that coordination mechanisms are in place.
An overview of how SUGAR TAF has worked with Uganda’s anti-corruption chain
Detection: SUGAR TAF has primarily supported the Financial Intelligence Authority (FIA), whose main goal is to produce the financial intelligence that helps connect illicitly obtained assets to the perpetrators of corruption. SUGAR TAF has also supported the Office of the Auditor General (OAG), Office of the Internal Auditor General (OIAG), and the Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets Authority (PPDA). These ‘audit producers’ detect corruption through compliance, financial or forensic audits.
Investigations: SUGAR TAF has closely supported the Inspectorate of Government (IG), one of the agencies that play a prime role in investigations, developing intelligence related to corrupt activity and illegal assets. It has also supported organizations such as the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) and Public Service Commission (PSC), which also carry out investigations in response to complaints received against judicial officers and public officers, respectively.
Prosecutions: Prosecutors at the IG and the Department of Public Prosecutions (DPP) must ensure that evidence collected by investigators is of sufficient quality to be admissible in court. SUGAR TAF has supported prosecutors at both the IG and the DPP to fulfil this role, particularly in understanding how existing legislation can be best used to effectively prosecute corruption-related cases.
Adjudication/Enforcement of Sanctions: When a strong case is presented at court, the Anti-Corruption Division (ACD) of the High Court convicts corrupt officials and orders the removal of their illegally obtained assets. Cases that are not pursued for criminal prosecution can be referred for civil sanctions and/or for disciplinary sanctions. To support their work, SUGAR TAF has provided support in the form of a research unit that has been generating case reference guides to reduce the work burden of the courts, as well as providing comparative reference to the experiences of other jurisdictions. SUGAR TAF has also advocated for more swift disposal of anti-corruption cases at the Court of Appeal (CoA).
Asset Recovery: SUGAR TAF has encouraged all actors in the chain to recognize the central role of asset recovery in ensuring justice and making corruption less attractive. Planning for asset recovery has to begin at the outset of a case, through tools such as financial profiling. SUGAR TAF has helped prosecutors and the judiciary to see how existing legislation allows for the civil recovery of assets, while also supporting the formulation of a single unified proceeds-of-crime bill.
Coordination across the chain: Enhancing coordination across different functions is an indispensable component of building an effective anti-corruption chain. Although the response chain involves institutions which are coordinated through three different GoU ‘sectors’ – the Accountability Sector, Justice, Law & Order Sector, and Public Financial Management – none of the sector coordination bodies focus exclusively on anti-corruption. SUGAR TAF has addressed this gap by supporting corruption-focussed coordination.
How does SUGAR TAF provide support?
As a technical advisory facility, SUGAR TAF provides support mainly in the form of specialised technical advice to its counterparts. SUGAR TAF’s support to a specific institution is always determined in consultation with that institution, based on its priorities and needs. This support is then flexible and adjusted with experience.
Key aspects of SUGAR TAF’s approach include:
Diagnosis (of a particular function within or across anti-corruption institutions)
Establishing a link with counterpart institutions and working with them to develop an intervention plan
Support to counterpart comes as some or all of
Design/adjustment of case management system (software) and installation
Trainings on specific technical issues
Organisational development/change management: includes work-flow mapping, supporting/training leadership
Direct case support: Where institutions wish, SUGAR TAF anti-corruption experts review cases and provide legal opinions.
Linkages to other actors in the chain, largely through convening events, dialogues, and working groups.
Advocacy/promotion of specific approaches or solutions that have proved successful elsewhere. Some key examples include the application of civil sanctions as part of the anti-corruption regime and the introduction of prosecutor-guided investigations in institutions not currently employing this approach.
Operations support as required: While this is not a major focus of SUGAR TAF, it has also provided some operational support with office equipment such as computers and printers. This has been particularly pertinent in introducing electronic, web-based case management systems, which cannot be properly adopted without this equipment.