Minister of Presidential Affairs, Governance and Public Administration Kabo Morwaeng revealed that the Declaration of Assets and Liabilities Act will incorporate additional amendments to target corruption at procurement level. Speaking before Parliament when presenting the second reading of the Declaration of Assets and Liabilities (Amendments) (No. 2) Bill, Morwaeng further added that corruption in the awarding of public tenders is a matter that needs urgent action.
The Member of Parliament for Molepolole South stressed the need to make it a legal requirement for all involved in the procurement process to declare their assets.
“We continue to experience corruption relating to the award of public tenders. The application of the Act to procurement officers is one of the ways by which Government seeks to fight corruption,” Morwaeng highlighted.
Last month The Botswana Gazette published a report in which the Director General of the Directorate On Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) Tymon Katlholo told the Parliamentary Committee on Governance and Oversight that some procurement officers are on private companies’ payroll. This, according to Katlholo, breeds corruption as companies are awarded lucrative tenders without following the correct and legal procedures. With few cases of procurement corruption before the courts, the lack of action has now caught the attention of the legislative .
The Declaration of Assets and Liabilities Act makes a “provision for the declaration of interests, income, assets and liabilities of certain categories of persons; to monitor the interests, income, assets and liabilities of those persons for the purposes of preventing and detecting corruption, money laundering and the acquisition of property from proceeds of any other offence, and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.” The Act was passed into law on August 28, 2019.