GOVERNMENT tenders have for decades been a magnet for corruption and another 11th hour intervention by President Hage Geingob in the already messy N$7 billion airport tender speaks volumes of this assertion.
Indeed and too often, the public watches painfully as every storm blows away with seldom anyone being brought to account. Whilst this intervention is reflective of Geingob’s charge towards a transparent reign, the continued desperation of the ousted NAC board which has relentlessly tried to abuse official authorities presents challenges to the national purse.
In the midst of a recession and fiscal consolidation drive it is difficult to find resolve in how individuals have tried to crawl back into Government affairs and from the outside attempt to influence Government spending.
Without making any insinuations, this is the time that Government needs to tighten its belt and safeguard the public purse particularly when it comes to public procurement which is one of the Government activities most vulnerable to corruption.
In addition to the volume of transactions and the financial interests at stake, corruption risks are exacerbated by the complexity of the process, the close interaction between public officials and businesses, and the multitude of stakeholders.
Although we have witnessed many cases in which public officials and private persons manipulated the system for their overall gain, it is highly noticeable that the individuals involved back then, today hold considerable interests in the systems they built and in some cases, their successors. Whether they will abuse their power for personal gain remains unknown but one thing for certain is that that have had characteristics that showcase greed and corruption, a scenario that undermines the country’s national security, overall safety, the public trust, and the credibility of the Government.
It is vital to note that greed may well be the thorn in the poverty fight. This is because; greed focuses only on the self and ignores poverty, or often perpetrates the plight of the poor.
Good governance, whether in the public or private sector, is always a challenge. While we want and expect people to act with honesty and integrity, in too many cases, self-interest, greed, and a lack of respect for the rights of others overcomes the basic obligation to act ethically. Essentially accountability is one of the fundamental tenets of effective governance in both the private and public sector.
We should always heed the fact that just as citizens rely on governments, they trust state ministries to manage public resources and provide essential services in today’s complex societies. This means providing quality services, of ensuring honest and prudent management of financial resources and assets. It means providing these services in a safe way, in a fair, honest and professional manner. And, at the end of the day, it means demonstrating full accountability to the people.
As the nation focuses on the importance of Government transparency for accountability and good governance more generally, the demand for greater conceptual clarity and authoritative measures of Government transparency also increases.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015