The Zim. Gov. 2016 National Budget Statement on “Anti-Corruption Thrust”

ZimGov

XVIII. ANTI-CORRUPTION THRUST
1355. Mr Speaker Sir, Government reiterates zero tolerance for corruption in all sectors of the economy in order to foster good governance.

1356. Given that corruption has permeated every fabric of our national life and character, and is now in our blood as it were, and reminded of a translation of a Shona saying, “If you chase two rabbits at the same time, you never catch any”, it is imperative that we develop strategies that identify the most damaging forms of corruption.

1357. Accordingly, Government’s anti-corruption thrust in 2016 will target wide spread corruption through inflated and unrealistic pricing of goods and services sourced through the public procurement system, and leakages at our country’s borders.

Leakages at Borders
1358. Mr Speaker Sir, there are challenges with revenue leakages at border posts due to smuggling and corruption, with such activities depriving the fiscus of resources that should be deployed towards national infrastructure development and service delivery.

1359. Government is putting in place various measures to deal with the scourge. Implementation of some of these will be immediate, while others will require investment and time.

Immediate Measures
• Establishment of transparent systems for handling goods, vehicular and human traffic passing through our borders, including adherence to the principle of “First Come, First Served”;

• Installation of Closed Circuit Cameras at all critical points across the country’s points of entry;

• Introduction of Client Timeline Service Registers;

• Automation of systems at all border posts, parallel to CCTV coverage; and

• Visible Clients Public Notices of processes and timelines for delivery of various border posts services.

1360. Mr Speaker Sir, harnessing Information Communication Technology not only speeds up service delivery processes, but also optimises use of online platforms which minimise physical interface between service providers and their clients, which ordinarily creates opportunities for corrupt practices.

1361. These measures should be in place by the first half of 2016.

Procurement & Inflated Pricing
1362. Mr Speaker Sir, with respect to public procurement, rent seeking activities and behavior increase the cost of implementing projects and service delivery.

1363. Corruption challenges in this area are being addressed through a review of the governing framework and institutional arrangements to enhance transparency and accountability.

1364. As already alluded to, the conduct of procurement transactions will be devolved to the procuring entity level, while the State Procurement Board will have a framework setting and monitoring role to ensure procuring entities operate within the agreed parameters. This will deal with the potential conflict of interest that arises from the Board’s current dual transacting and oversight roles.

1365. The devolution will concurrently improve timeliness and efficiency in concluding procurement transactions by allowing managers the latitude to make procurement decisions within frameworks set by the State Procurement Board, while making such managers directly accountable for decisions.

1366. These will be complemented by provisions for:

• Review mechanisms to facilitate verification of bidders’ capacity;
• Publication of all contract awards and prices;
• Publication of mandatory progress and contract completion reports; and
• Reconciliation of above reports to budgets and timelines, to foster transparency and accountability.

1367. Government will also embrace the e-procurement platform to minimise opportunities for corrupt practices, while getting access to a wider selection of potential suppliers.

Anti-Corruption Agencies
1368. Mr Speaker Sir, efforts are underway to adequately capacitate the Anti-Corruption Agencies to effectively discharge their mandates in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.

1369. Furthermore, appointments of the Commissioners of the Anti-Corruption Commission should be announced soon, following their interviews conducted by Parliament in line with the Constitution.

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