Plans Needed to Tackle Graft

Although most medium to national enterprises have an anti-corruption policy framework in place many do not have operational plans to implement the policy.

An Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) survey launched last year aimed to establish if private and state-owned enterprises have any anti-corruption policy framework to tackle corruption.

The geographical area covered was the memberhip branches of the Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI). But although there are seven branches, only the Ongwediva, Windhoek, Swakopmund, Walvis Bay and Karas branches were surveyed.

The study covered strategies and tools the private sector and state-owned enterprises use to improve transparency, accountability and risk management as a way of ensuring good governance.

The survey revealed that most of the enterprises have an anti-corruption policy.

The survey showed that about 92 percent of medium to national enterprises registered a higher percentage of those having an anti-corruption framework in place as compared to 73 percent registered for small enterprises.

“Almost most of these enterprises have an anti-corruption policy framework, and most of them have implemented one or more tools or strategies that work towards combating corruption and on average (both large and small) have implemented about three tools or strategies. It was evident that those enterprises with the anti-corruption policy framework in place are those that had at least one tool or strategy implemented. This is not that conclusive because there are few that have an anti-corruption policy framework … but do not have any tool or strategy implemented,” the report of the survey noted.

According to the report, most of the enterprises merely have guidelines, especially small enterprises, and that is why they lack strategies on accountability, transparency and risk management.

“It is of no use to have the policy framework in place with no operational plan to implement it,” the report states.

Therefore, the ACC recommended that the enterprises develop a comprehensive anti-corruption policy framework supported by fully operational guidelines. The ACC is optimistic that this will ensure a total response against corruption and hence minimise if not eliminate corruption in the country.

Equally, the ACC said for the enterprises to develop a comprehensive anti-corruption framework, reference should be made to the International Chamber of Commerce which has developed effective tools as guideline principles for the development of codes of ethics that promote transparency and prohibit bribery.

The NCCI was aised to extend its helpful hand to its members who may need to develop an anti-corruption framework.

The report further recommends that the ACC develop a national minimum package that clearly defines risk management, good governance, transparency and accountability.

The ACC says the report should not be limited to government offices, ministries and agencies.

The ACC has its main function the investigation of matters that in its opinion raise suspicion and to educate the public on corruption,enlist their support in combating corruption as well as examine practices of public and private bodies to facilitate the discovery of corrupt practices.

Source : New Era