Private sector’s role in curbing corruption

A NUST Public Management Senior Lecturer, in the Faculty of Human Sciences, Dr Johan Coetzee, recently presented a paper titled: ‘The Role of the Private Sector in Tackling Corruption.’ The paper, commissioned by the Institute of Public Policy and Research (IPPR), surveyed attitudes towards corruption in the private sector in Namibia and outlines steps the private enterprises can take to help fight corruption.

In the study, Coetzee states that the private sector and civil society need to unite and use the media to mobilise public support for disclosing of public documents, for audit assessments, and/or full audits of large-scale corruption cases.

“The private sector and civil society need to coordinate in order to form a united front to negotiate with government on alternatives to reduce corruption in the public and private sector interface, for example, in terms of border control corruption, and delays in the approval of licences and permits,” reads the report.
He acknowledges that corruption occurs in all countries, however, it is in the developing world where the impact of corruption is most destructive.

He says the reason is “corruption mainly impacts the vulnerable, i.e. the abject poor, uneducated and disabled in developing countries who cannot ‘afford’ corruption compared to people in developed countries with a much higher standard of living and who are much less vulnerable.”

Coetzee is adamant that it is possible to deduce that the private sector does have a critical role to play and an undeniable accountability in reducing corruption in the public-private sector interface.

“The private sector should refuse to pay bribes, expose corrupt public servants and public transactions because of protection provided by Section 52 (4) of the Anti-Corruption Act (Act No.8 of 2003). Questionable transactions should be reported to the media to increase transparency as exposure is the most appropriate cure for corruption,” he adds.
Coetzee further argues that a private sector that is in agreement that corruption is one of the top issues reducing business and investment, can put pressure on government to reform ‘hot spots’ and reduce corruption in the public and private sector interface, e.g. procurement, monopolies and cartels.

According to the Corruption Perception Index of Transparency International (TI), Namibia has always been one of the top five least corrupt African countries. “However, a rating of mostly below 5 out of 10 since 2004, indicates we are mediocre, not good but not bad, just ‘hanging in there’,” concluded Coetzee.

Date: 
Friday, June 8, 2018
for Month: 
June, 2018

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