Procurement at centre of corruption: DCEO boss

Procurement at centre of corruption: DCEO boss

Leisa Leisanyane

MASERU – THE Directorate on Corruption and Economic Offences (DCEO) boss, Borotho Matsoso, says close to 99 percent of corruption cases are related to public procurement.
Speaking at the Anti-Corruption Symposium to commemorate Anti-Corruption Day on Monday, Matsoso said he receives many complaints levelled at government ministers and other senior officials when they interfere with procurement processes.

“Public procurement globally remains arguably the most vulnerable area to corruption and the irony of the situation here is that the procurement regulations and processes usually do not say much, if anything at all, about the ministers,” Matsoso said.

“Yet, from time to time we get reports that minister so and so has interfered un-procedurally with the procurement process.”
Matsoso said the key objective of this day, marked on December 9 every year, is to raise awareness of corruption and highlight the role of the UN Convention on Anti-Corruption in combating and preventing corruption.
He said according to the UNDP, intolerance towards corruption has grown as evidenced by the increasing number of politicians and chief executives who have been tried and convicted for corruption.

According to Matsoso, this year’s symposium is meant to look into the issue of corruption and how it affects public procurement.
Speaking at the same occasion, Justice Minister Moeketse Malebo said the issue of corruption affects the socio-economic and political well-being of the country.
“Fighting corruption remains both my personal commitment and my passion to this day, and beyond,” Malebo said.
“I do attribute to the greatest extent possible, the fact that I have served this long as a Member of Parliament, and also as a minister in His Majesty’s cabinet, to being well-known for advocating for a clean, efficient and effective service delivery to the public, free from corruption,” Malebo said.

Malebo said fighting corruption and related crime is not only a costly business on its own, but also that it can never be won if done by individuals.
He said that is why it is being fought against by a united force of the DCEO, the police and the Lesotho Revenue Authority (LRA).
“By coming together, our law enforcement agencies will surely optimize the use of the operational resources at their disposal,” he said.
The initiative started last year through the help of UNDP.

Malebo said the fact that corruption affects almost everybody means every sector of society must unite and cooperate.
“This is why the strategic initiative of the DCEO under the National Anti-Corruption Strategy and Action Plan (NACSAP) where the public sector, the legislature, the judiciary, the private sector, the civil society and the media have mobilized against corruption, is highly commendable,” he said.

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