Executive agencies and the public decision-making process: a case study of Kampala Capital City Authority

Kitamirike, Emmanuel
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The study examined the legal framework establishing Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) as well as actor interactions within the agency policy process, with an ultimate aim of ascertaining the extent of public decision-making. The study was structured around three main components: an in-depth investigation of the literature on agencification; an application of the institutionalism theoretical framework; and an applied case study approach to examine the extent and context of policy decision making within KCCA. The major finding and indeed central argument is that despite the creation of a central policy-making role enshrined in the law establishing KCCA, the policy outcomes are not influenced by the elected leaders but rather by the central government and as such, there is limited public decision-making. This study has empirically shown that the creation of a matrix agency structure with multiple reporting and accountability centres was a symbolic move intended to dupe elected leaders with superficial status and authority, but in essence, without any real powers to demand policy changes, let alone, be able to sanction bureaucrats for their actions or inaction. The study further affirms that bureaucrats managing KCCA affairs, to a great extent, not only play a policy implementation function, but also disproportionately influence the shape of policy as a consequence of the discretionary powers bestowed upon them by the KCC Act (2010). The paper concludes by highlighting that agencification as one of the new public management (NPM) approaches has increased institutional and policy complexities that alienate citizens and citizen groups from the decision-making process. This reality challenges the existing literature on agencification and New Public Management which claims that once we structurally disaggregate and create semi-independent agencies, then we see bureaucrats who are more accountable to citizens.
Thesis submitted to the Faculty of Commerce, Law and Management, University of the Witwatersrand, in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the Degree of Master of Management in the Field of Public Policy April 2017
Kitamirike, Emmanuel (2017) Executive agencies and the public decision-making process: a case study of Kampala Capital City Authority, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, <http://hdl.handle.net/10539/23428>