The corruption-busting agency, the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) has developed new guidelines for conducting preliminary enquiries to tighten grip on corrupt officials in public institutions.
The guidelines have been developed to enhance the work of Anti Corruption Units (ACUs) which were established in 2010 with a primary responsibility to carry out preliminary enquiries on received allegations of corruption and related activities within Ministries.
According to the guidelines report, one of the reasons that led to the preparation of the guidelines was in recognition of the challenging circumstances and environment under which ACUs operate. The document contains detailed information on various aspects of information processing and analysis emanating from receipt to final output levels of an enquiry process.
According to the 2015/2016 records, ACUs have registered a total of 776 allegations of corruption related activities and have conducted more than 70 Transaction Monitoring exercises in the same period.
Speaking at the launch of the guidelines, DCEC director, Rose Seretse said the guidelines are meant to guide the operations of the ACUs by putting into the context the practices and procedures performed by ACUs within the administrative context of the Public institutions under which they operate.
“These guidelines are a deliberate initiative not only meant to facilitate internal investigation but a tool that also facilitate co-existence of internal and external mechanisms of investigations,” she said.
Seretse however warned that the ACUs should ensure that in carrying out the preliminary inquiries, they should do everything in a manner that does not compromise the work of external investigatory institutions such as DCEC and Botswana police.
Keynote speaker ,Justice Mathiba, judge of the industrial court in her remarks applauded the DCEC for coming up with the guidelines saying the establishment of ACUs in ‘high risk Ministries’ has clearly enhanced DCEC mainstreaming efforts and has particularly complemented its corruption prevention efforts.
“I have been informed that since the formation of Anti-Corruption Units (ACUs) in 2010, the Directorate
The growth of ACUs in number as well as the increased number of ACU staff membership, she said, has contributed immensely to the anti-corruption strategy, post 2010.
Justice Mathiba continued that this development will further strengthen and forge coherence and formality in the way ACUs conduct business, further adding that the guidelines will reduce discretion and in the process forge uniformity in operation, improve turnaround time and disposal of service and most importantly improve quality of service.
“Having studied the two documents, I have no doubt that the project officers have done a good job and I am convinced that service will be discharged in a coordinated, effective and efficient manner with the greatest regard for the law and due process,” she warned. She continued: “The Guidelines on Transaction Monitoring (TM) similarly provide clarity on what the Transaction Monitoring process entails. Likewise, it contextualises the activity of examining business areas in an effort to detect suspicious transactions, and prescribes the architecture and protocols to be followed,” she said further adding that this will in the end ensure that there is adequate analysis and in-depth diagnosis of conclusions and inferences drawn from assessments on key business areas and projects.
She emphasised the relevance of implementation and urged the coordinators to ensure full compliance to the guidelines, further adding that it is through full implementation that the relevance of the guidelines will be put to real test.