Transparency International (TI) and the World Bank (WB) have given Rwanda as an example for its efforts in curbing corruption that other African nations should follow.
In its 2009 Global Corruption Report, Transparency International shows how corrupt practices constitute the force that undermines fair competition, stifles economic growth and ultimately undercuts a business’ own existence.
The massive scale of global corruption resulting from bribes and other undue influences on public policy are to blame for loss of billions and an obstruction to sustainable economic growth, Transparency International has said.
“In Rwanda, the leadership is strongly committed to making progress against corruption, and takes very strong action when behaviour falls short of expectations,” said Johannes Zutt, World Bank director for Kenya and five other East African nations.
He cited the example of a high-ranking civil servant who was sacked for corruption in February and a former MP who was sentenced to two years in prison in August for tax evasion.
According to Transparency’s report, in developing and transition countries alone, companies colluding with corrupt politicians and officials, have paid bribes estimated at up to $40bn annually.
In the report, the organisation points out Rwanda’s improvement in public procurement giving a special mention of 502 cases of corruption and embezzlement that were reported by the Office of the Public Prosecutor, between June 2007 and May 2008.
“Among these cases 296 were subject to prosecution, 40 were closed and 213 received court judgements including prison sentences,” the report says.
The report also commends the Public Procurement Appeals Committee as a good indicator of the scale of the problem in public procurement.
It pointed out 46 complaints concerning irregularities in the awarding of public contracts that were submitted between August 2007 and May 2008.
“In thirteen cases in which legal action was taken, the public authorities’ decision was cancelled and the plaintiff won the case,” the report praised
The report also added that forms of corruption associated with public procurement often involve non compliance with procedures, such as dividing tenders into smaller units to allow contracts to be awarded by private agreement.
Transparency International is a global civil society organisation that fights against corruption.