The A Partnership for National Unity + Alliance for Change (APNU+AFC) has launched its elections manifesto ahead of the March 2 polls. In it, the Coalition said that it plans to eradicate financial fraud and corruption. This plan falls under its governance programme, which also entails Constitutional Reform; enhancement of human rights; fiscal governance; and the improvement of public procurement processes.
Under the plans to eradicate financial fraud and corruption, the Coalition, should it return to office, said that it will continue the empowerment of the Integrity Commission and conduct a review of the Integrity Commission Act to strengthen and modernize its provisions.
This commitment comes against the backdrop of more than a dozen government ministers and public officials failing to declare their assets to the Commission during the time period as specified by the Commission. Their names were recently gazetted, as has been a major source of contention over the last couple of weeks with the Opposition using it to debunk transparency enhancement promises being made by the government. At least two ministers have maintained that they were not delinquent. A later report was done by the State media which alleged that even members of the Opposition would have failed to submit their declarations – a claim which the Opposition subsequently denied with promises of initiating legal action.
The APNU+AFC manifesto also contains plans to continue the strengthening of the investigative and prosecutorial capacity of Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU); the investigative, asset-tracing and recovery capacity of the State Assets Recovery Agency (SARA).
Further, in its bid to eradicate financial fraud and corruption, the APNU+AFC said that it will also:
• Continue to support the work of the Financial Intelligence Unit;
• Implement the Protected Disclosures Act fully;
• Incorporate security and tracking features in all government electronic processing systems.
• Continue to transition towards the use of standardized specifications for all government procurement services;
• Continue to resource and support the Public Procurement Commission (PPC);
• Amend the Public Procurement Act to strengthen and modernize its provisions;
• Continue to recruit and train more staff at all procurement agencies to ensure more efficient government procurement; and
• Continue to ensure 20% allocation of Government purchases to small businesses to enhance the impact of public spending.