Lack of integrity among business persons and procurement officers has been cited as the major cause of corruption in public procurement.
“People want to acquire contracts fraudulently. Some procurement officers receive the bribes and award contracts to wrong people,” said Augustus Seminiga, the director general Rwanda Public Procurement Authority.
Seminiga was briefing reporters on several recommendations made after last month’s national dialogue on corruption in public procurement. The recommendations include raising awareness on professional ethics in Rwanda Public Service, among others.
Several complaints have been raised by bidders related to corruption in public procurement, but Seminiga said it is hard to prove.
He said officers caught or suspected to be involved in corruption-related scandals are reported to the criminal investigations department for investigation.
“We also encourage people to appeal if they feel cheated or unfairly treated. This is not limited only to corruption-related complaints,” he added.
Pauline Gashumba, in charge of fighting corruption in the Office of the Ombudsman said, they received five corruption-related cases in procurement last year, mostly reported by bidders.
Gashumba said the national dialogue on corruption in public procurement was meant to harness the efforts of different partners to address the complaints.
“It was a good occasion to adopt important recommendations. We are also collaborating with the private sector and civil society to encourage the public to resist and report corruption,” she explained.
RPPA, in collaboration with several institutions, were tasked to ensure that enough staff in charge of procurement as a way of minimising the time taken to award tenders.
The national dialogue on corruption in public procurement was an opportunity for participants from different institutions to discuss complaints raised by the public relating to corruption in procurement.
It was found out that information provided by several people on the existence of corruption in the area of procurement may be well founded considering non compliance of tender procedures which may give room to corruption.