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What is the Anti-Corruption Commission?

It is an independent and impartial body that has a statutory mandate to fight corruption. It is also an agency as contemplated in the Public Service Act, 1995 (Act No. 13 of 1995).


When and how was it established?

The Commission is established by section 2 of the Anti-Corruption Act, 2003. However, it only came into being with the coming into force of the Act on 15 April 2005.


When did the Commission become operational?

It became operational on 1 February 2006. This being the date of the formal inauguration of the Commission and issuing of authority cards to the Director and Deputy Director by His Excellency, President Hifikepunye Pohamba took place on 1 February 2006.


What are the functions of the Commission?

The main function of the Commission is to combat corruption through investigation, prevention and public education. The Commission thus has a three-pronged approach in fighting corruption. The Commission is mandated under section 3 of the Anti-Corruption Act to -

• receive or initiate and investigate allegations of corrupt practices;
• refer an allegation to any other appropriate authority for investigation or action;
• consult, co-operate and exchange information with appropriate bodies or authorities, including bodies or authorities of other countries that are authorised to conduct investigations in relation to corrupt practices;
• prevent the occurrence of corrupt practices;
• investigate any conduct of a person employed by a public body or private body which may be connected with or conducive to corrupt practices;
• examine the practices, systems and procedures of public bodies and private bodies;
• advise public bodies and private bodies on ways of preventing corrupt practices;
• educate the public on the dangers of corruption;
• enlist and foster public confidence and support in combating corruption.


How is the Commission managed on a day-to-day basis?

The Commission is headed by the Director who is responsible for the direction, control and management of the Commission. The Director is assisted by the Deputy Director who performs the functions conferred by the Act on the Deputy Director or as may be assigned to him or her by the Director. In addition, the Commission has officials who are responsible for the Directorates and Division.


Who appoints the Director and Deputy Director?

The Director and Deputy Director are appointed by the National Assembly upon nomination by the President. The Director and Deputy Director are appointed on a full-time basis for five years and may be reappointed upon expiry of their term of office. The President determines the conditions of service of the Director and Deputy Director with the confirmation by the National Assembly.


How does the Commission receive complaints about corruption?

The Commission receives complaints orally or in writing from members of the public or from institutions. Some members of the public prefer to report anonymously or give an indication that their identities should be protected. The Commission may also initiate investigations.


Is the Commission accessible to members of the public who do not live in Windhoek?

The Commission has established a Free Hotline number 0800 222 888 through which the public anywhere in the country can reach the Commission. In addition, the Commission intends to, within the very near future, establish at least two regional offices and introduce mobile report centres to make itself more accessible to the public. This, of course, depends on the availability of funds. Once the Directorate of Education and Corrupt Prevention is fully operational, the Commission will be more proactive with its outreach activities to sensitise the public on the dangers of corruption and on reporting procedures.


Does the Commission cooperate with other authorities in carrying out its mandate?

Yes. In terms of section 3 of the Anti-Corruption Act, the Commission may consult, co-operate and exchange information with appropriate bodies or authorities, including authorities or bodies of other countries that are authorised to conduct inquiries or investigations in relation to corrupt practices. The Commission frequently interacts with the Namibian Police as some of the complaints are of such a nature that it requires an investigation by the Police and not the Commission. In the fight against corruption, the Commission has to ensure, in addition to the Namibian Police, that it has good working relations with offices such as the Office of the Ombudsman, Office of the Auditor-General, Office of the Prosecutor-General and even the Parliamentary Committee on Public Accounts.


Is the existence of the Commission guaranteed?

As the Commission is established by law it can only be abolished by law.


Is the Commission an independent body?

Yes. The Commission is an independent and impartial body that is accountable to the Namibian people through the National Assembly by way of an annual report that the Director submits to the Prime Minister for tabling in the National Assembly. This guarantees the Commission’s independence and ensures that it can perform it’s functions without fear of any interference.


What is the relationship between the Commission and other Commissions in Namibia?

The Commission has the specific mandate to deal with corruption. Corrupt practices which it is mandated to deal with are defined in Chapter 4 of the Act. The Commission may cooperate with any other authority inclusive of any other Commission in the discharge of its mandate.


Does the Commission prosecute the cases it investigates?

The Act explicitly states that, if upon completion of an investigation by the Commission, it appears to the Director that a person has committed an offence of corrupt practice under Chapter 4 or any other offence discovered during the investigation, the Director must refer the matter and all relevant information and evidence assembled by the Commission in connection with the matter to the Prosecutor-General. The power to prosecute is a constitutional power that vests in the Prosecutor-General. A staff member of the Commission who possesses the required legal qualifications to appear in a court of law in Namibia may prosecute if the Prosecute-General, in consultation with the Director, delegates the authority to conduct criminal proceedings in court in respect of that matter. The staff member will in the exercise of such power be subject to the control and direction of the Prosecutor-General.


What are the major milestones achieved by the Commission since it became operational?

At the time the Commission was inaugurated by the Head of State, only the Director and Deputy Director were on the staff complement of the Commission. It was up to the Director and his Deputy to propose an appropriate organisational structure and secure in respect thereof the recommendation of the Public Service Commission and the approval of the Prime Minister. The bureaucratic processes unfortunately delayed the speedy operationalisation of the Commission. Recruitment had to be done in accordance with Public Service rules and policies. Beside the delay, the Commission has now recruited the investigating officers in the Directorate of Investigation and Prosecution. These investigators are doing excellent work and, with regard to many of the cases reported to the Commission, investigations have been completed or the cases have been referred to other authorities for investigation or appropriate action by them. The Commission is also in the process of finalising quite a number of cases for submission to the Prosecutor-General for a decision whether or not to prosecute.


What are the Commission's main strategies for the near future?

The Commission believes that educating the public on corruption is the best method to reduce the levels of corruption. Public intolerance towards corruption will result in stronger public demands for institutional changes to guarantee transparency and accountability in all administrations. In order to prevent corruption the Commission will:-

• continuously campaign against corruption;
• hold workshops and seminars to educate the public on the negative effects of corruption;
• hold frequent integrity workshops and seminars for all sectors;
• assist with the formation of anticorruption groups, associations or coalitions;
• use the media to disseminate anticorruption messages;
• target students - the future of Namibia - as a crucial segment of our awareness campaign;
• strive for the introduction of anticorruption modules in the curricula of all educational institutions;
• encourage all Namibians to speak out against corruption without reservation. In accomplishing the above-mentioned the Commission will cooperate with other law enforcement agencies, government institutions, civil society organisations, the media and individuals committed to expose corrupt practices.


Can a person be prosecuted under the Anti-Corruption Act, 2003, for offences committed before the coming into force of the Act?

No. The Act has no retrospective effect unless of course it is a continuous offence. Depending on the facts of the case, the Prosecutor-General may decide to prosecute such a person, if it is not a continuous offence, under the Prevention of Corruption Ordinance, 1928 (Ordinance No. 2 of 1928), or with a common law offence of fraud or bribery or any other offence as the case may be.


Does the Anti-Corruption Act, 2003, bind Namibians for offences committed outside Namibia?

Most definitely yes. Under the Anti-Corruption Act Namibian citizens and persons domiciled or permanently resident in Namibia may be brought before Namibian courts for corruption offences committed in a foreign country if the conduct in question would amount to a corrupt practice under this Act.


Is there any legal protection for persons who assist the Commission in its work?

Yes. The Anti-Corruption Act provides that no action or proceedings of a disciplinary, civil or criminal nature may be instituted or maintained by any person or authority against any informer or a person who has assisted the Commission in an investigation into an alleged or suspected offence under the Act. It should also be noted that the mentioned protection is not extended to those who maliciously give false information against others. However, the Commission is of the opinion that Protection of WhistleBlowers legislation should be enacted so as to extend protection to whistle blowers in general. This will help remove the fear of victimisation that people may have should they report corruption.


What are the causes of corruption identified thus far?

It is appropriate to firstly state that corruption is a manifestation of institutional weakness,poor ethical standards, skewed incentives and inadequate enforcement of the laws of the country. As part of our national crusade against corruption and our quest to enforce transparency and accountability, legislation that adequately provides for the minimum standard of behaviour and conduct of public officials should now be enacted. Such legislation should also provide for mandatory disclosure of assets and liabilities. The enactment of such legislation will reaffirm Government’s commitment to ensure accountability and transparency in the conduct of public affairs. The causes of corruption are, among others, the following:

• Lack of adherence to the laws, rules and regulations;
• Lack of programmes combating corruption in various institutions;
• Failure to develop proper ethical and business standards for the public and private sectors;
• Appointment of incompetent persons in certain in positions of authority;
• Lack of transparency and accountability in the decision-making process;
• Lengthy and cumbersome procedures in the decision-making process;
• Poor remuneration of employees;
• Absence of adequate internal controls to prevent bribery, nepotism and abuse of public properties.


What are the consequences of corruption?

Corruption has many corrosive effects, such as -

• a shortage of essential services such as schools and hospitals;
• insufficient public facilities;
• a decline in economic development;
• a high unemployment rate;
• poverty and inequality;
• the facilitation of organised crime such as drugs, arms trade and money laundering;
• the violation of human rights;
• the undermining of the rule of law and representative democracy;
• an increase in political instability;
• the enrichment of a few at the expense of the majority.


What are the penalties for corruption under the Anti-Corruption Act, 2003?

A person convicted of an offence under any provision of Chapter 4 is liable to a fine not exceeding N$ 500 000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 25 years or both such fine and such imprisonment.


What role can civil society organisations play in the fight against corruption?

Civil society has an important role to play as a stakeholder in the fight against corruption. It is a vehicle that reaches out to ordinary citizens. The role that civil society can play, especially in raising awareness on corruption cannot be underestimated. Civil society organisations should develop anti-corruption educational materials as part of programmes sensitising the public. They should educate the public to demand quality goods, service delivery, transparency and accountability. Only when civil society is engaged in oversight programmes can the required levels of transparency and accountability be realised.


What about the media?

In a democratic society like ours, where freedom of expression is guaranteed in our Constitution, the media can play a vital role in terms of exposing corruption, raising public awareness, enforcing and maintaining professional standards. The media has the responsibility of keeping the three pillars of the State monitored against corrupt practices. We cannot but appreciate the role that the media play in enhancing ethical values and in reducing the levels of corruption.


What can an individual do to help fight corruption?

Preventing and fighting corruption is the responsibility of every citizen and resident of Namibia. The Anti-Corruption Act, 2003, then also places a duty on a public officer to whom any gratification is promised, offered, or given to report to the Commission. It places a similar duty on any other person from whom gratification is demanded. In this regard, it should be noted that failure to so report the Commission is an offence punishable with a fine not exceeding N$500.000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 25 years, or to both such fine and such imprisonment.


Where can the Commission be reached?

Our contact details are:

12th Floor, Dr Frans Indongo Gardens,
Dr Frans Indongo Street, Windhoek
PO Box 23137, Windhoek
Tel: 061-370 600
Fax: 061-300 952
Free Hotline No: 0800 222 888
Email Address: anticorruption@iway.na


Strategic Plan 2010 - 2014

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