PCCB yields to donor pressure, issues report
17 May 2011
Dar es Salaam: The Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB) yesterday released the eagerly awaited National Governance and Corruption Survey report in the wake of pressure from donors. The publishing of the report in the PCCB website comes only days after President Jakaya Kikwete directed that the report be made public. The President's order was announced on Friday in Dodoma by Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda during a joint General Budget Support (GBS) meeting, attended by envoys from 12 donor countries. The report shows generally, that corruption is still a serious problem in Tanzania, with respondents listing the Police Force, Judiciary and the education sector as the most graft infested areas.
It further shows that despite the efforts by the Kikwete administration, corruption has continued to be an impediment to the country's development process.The donor-sponsored PCCB survey, unsurprisingly, shows also that water and electricity supply agencies and lands office lead as institutions that provide poor services. The survey also establishes that public officials lead as initiators and perpetrators of corruption.
The report, however, mentions pension funds, insurance companies and tender boards as least corrupt entities, and the same goes for executives within the Tanzania Postal Corporation (TPC), Parliament and Tanzania Telecommunications Company Ltd (TTCL). The survey, conducted in 2009, reveals that corruption was a serious governance and developmental challenge in Tanzania.
"It is a major problem affecting all sectors of the economy from service delivery to natural resources exploitation, industrial production, environmental protection, business and commerce," reads part of the report.
It also notes that service delivery is crippled by corruption and institutional inefficiency. Respondents rated the quality of services provided by key public institutions, notably the Police and the Judiciary as poor. People were also particularly concerned over the low levels of integrity in these institutions.
When asked to say what they saw as the cause of corruption, most respondents listed greed and poverty, and insisted that efforts to combat the two was paramount in the fight against the vice. They also cited poor salaries for public servants who need to make ends meet in an environment of rising cost of living, saying the situation forced such people to resort to petty corruption as a means to supplement their incomes.
"The business environment is undermined by corruption and excessive bureaucracy. Responses from enterprises indicate that graft is a significant impediment to the general growth and operation of businesses in Tanzania," says the report. The report recommends that improvement in public administration is needed in order to make them more efficient, transparent and accountable.
Public officials' responses indicate that although a sound public service management framework is in place, the enforcement of rules and regulations in most public institutions, particularly those governing personnel and financial management, was weak.
"Intensive public awareness campaign is needed to make the general public understand various types of corruption and their consequences to the national economy," suggests the report.And then, company executives interviewed said during the survey that they variously encountered situations where they had to bribe public servants in order to obtain services.
"Corruption is ranked as the third major problem by households after inflation and high cost of living, while public officials rank it as the fourth major problem after high cost of living, inflation and unemployment," says the report. Corruption, according to the report, is linked by households to moral indecency and poor law enforcement, while company executives link it to lack of control, accountability and moral decay on the part of public officials.
Other causes of corruption identified by more than 70 per cent of respondents are poor leadership, high cost of living, poor remuneration, lack of effective corruption reporting system, lack of independent and effective judiciary and poverty. In most cases what the respondents said they had to offer, in exchange of services, was money, but in some cases, some were obliged to give a bribe in the form of property or sex.
Public officials also identified business people and multinational companies as entities that, through bribing, influence decisions made by top public sector officials.The report, in which President Jakaya Kikwete in his preface admits that his government has a long way in its war against graft, reveals difference in the perception of the provision of services between the households and the public officials.
The public officials, for instance, consider the services provided by their institutions to be of high quality, while the households view them in the reverse of that. The report further shows that more than two thirds of the respondents mentioned causes of corruption as greed and selfishness (96.6 per cent), high cost of living (79.3 for per cent), poor remuneration (83 per cent), lack of control and accountability of public officials (81.2 per cent), and lack of independent and effective judiciary (69.3 per cent).
Others were moral indecency (90.9 per cent), poor leadership (78.5 per cent), lack of effective corruption reporting system (80.6), and poor law enforcement or punishment of the corrupt (85.2 per cent).
A little over two thirds (65.9 per cent) were categorical that corruption does not lead to the receiver of a bribe giving better services. The report from the survey that was conducted in all regions of Tanzania Mainland, shows that it is no wonder that the country is experiencing low development pace since corruption is widespread.
Keywords: governance, anti-corruption, service delivery, Tanzania