The National Corruption Prevention Policy and Strategy - Zambia's Panacea to Curb Corruption
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) is the Agency that is mandated to spearhead the fight against Corruption in Zambia. It was established in 1980 under an Act of Parliament, the Corrupt Practices Act No. 14. This Act has since been repealed and replaced by the Anti-Corruption Commission Act, No. 42 of 1996. In the recent past, the Government of the Republic of Zambia and the people have been concerned about the rising levels of corruption in the Country.
In 2003, the ACC developed a Strategic Plan to run from 2004 - 2008. This plan was done in consultation with different stakeholders and a key observation from this was that the Commission was not doing much towards prevention of corruption. As a result, the Strategic Plan shifted emphasis from Investigations and Prosecutions to Corruption Prevention. The development of a National Corruption Prevention Policy and Strategy (NCPPS) was identified as a way that would help Zambians to have a focused and coordinated approach towards the Prevention of Corruption.
In 2004, the President of the Republic of Zambia launched the National Governance Baseline Survey Report (NGBSR) which was a survey to establish the extent and incidence of corruption in the country. The survey revealed that both Grand and Petty (rent seeking) corruption was a serious problem in the country.
It was established that corruption is very common at points of service delivery - the point where public officials interface with citizens when the latter seek various services from public institutions such as Licences, School places, and Health care and also when private companies seek contracts from Government (Procurement of services and goods from Government Departments) This revelation enhanced the need for the NCPPS.
In 2005, the ACC commenced the process of developing a NCPPS using data from the NGBSR and the aims and objectives of the strategic plan 2004 - 2008.
The main thrust of the NCPPS is the coordination and mainstreaming of Corruption Prevention initiatives that are being undertaken by other Government Oversight Institutions such as the Judiciary, Office of the Auditor -General (OAG), The Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and the Office of the Ombudsman. In order to do this, there are a number of legal and regulatory changes that are recommended meant to minimise chances or loopholes for corruption and also make corruption a high risk undertaking. The policy also recommends changes at social level where deliberate programmes will be put in place to educate specific target groups and members of the public at large on the evils of corruption. At the situational level the policy recommends establishing Integrity Committees (IC) in public institutions to develop and implement corruption prevention programmes on a quarterly basis within the respective organisations. The role of the ACC will be to train the IC members and provide consultancy services on how the prevention of corruption can be done better and to intervene when things seriously go wrong.
In this way the NCPPS seeks to take the responsibility of corruption prevention to individual Ministries, Departments and Agencies as well as private companies and organisations. IC will devise corruption prevention programmes in the institutions and make quarterly reports to the Secretary to the Cabinet through the ACC. The ACC will play the role of an oversight institution and provide training to IC Members.
The ACC and the Government are hopeful that when the policy is implemented, corruption prevention efforts will be coordinated and focused. Most Zambian will also have an opportunity to participate in the prevention of corruption.