The Office of the Ombudsman is investigating allegations of corruption in public service, especially in the areas of public procurement and infrastructure sectors. This follows a latest report by Transparency International Rwanda (TIR), which was released this month that heavily implicated the two sectors. The report is dubbed ‘baseline study on integrity and transparency of public procurement system in the infrastructure sector in Rwanda’. Abbas Mukama, Deputy Ombudsman in charge of preventing and fighting corruption said they are working closely with anti-corruption committees in different institutions to investigate these corruption cases. He said that an anti-corruption policy was introduced in all institutions, charging them to set up a committee that is supposed to submit a report of their workload and resolutions to the Ombudsman office every six months. Mukama said, “40 per cent of districts’ budget is allocated for development projects, corruption is mostly prevalent during bidding processes which has led to failure of some of these projects. “Much of the misused money from the report of the Auditor-General is linked to public tenders of which there are some unimplemented contracts, non-durable projects, and that’s where our focus should be to mitigate this corruption,” said Mukama. Adding that players in the private sector are the contractors in these bidding processes. President Paul Kagame recently called for the uprooting of corruption that has been consistently reported in the judiciary and among some public servants, saying that the errant officers should be weeded out. “There has been pervasive corruption in public tenders especially with infrastructure project, such officers tarnish the country’s image. We are not happy about this and we will not tolerate it,” he said while opening the judicial year this month. According to TIR report, corruption at different levels of public projects, where at the level of awarding the contract had the highest prevalence of corruption at 30 per cent, at the level of shortlisting bidders, it was found at 25 per cent. TIR emphasized that despite the introduction of an e-procurement process to ease transparence, there the system does not accommodate all the processes involved in the execution of a public tender. “The e-procurement system need to be upgraded to manage the entire process of procurement such as bid evaluation, contract management and e-payment,” reads part of the resolution in their report. According to the Rwanda Public Procurement Authority (RPPA) Act, for every purchase exceeding Rwf100, 000, a public entity is expected to issue a tender notice, inviting contractors through an open bidding process. Public agencies, ministries, public universities, and schools procure goods and services through a process guided by the public procurement law.