Namibia’s anti-corruption legislation dates back prior to its independence in 1990. The Prevention of Corruption Ordinance, 1928 (Ordinance No. 2 of 1928), was enacted to better prevent corruption. It came into force on 12 June 1928 and was repealed by the Anti-Corruption Act, 2003 (Act No. 8 of 2003), that became operative on 15 April 2005. The Prevention of Corruption Ordinance, 1928, was enforced by the Police. In addition, the Namibian Parliament thought it fit to pass the Ombudsman Act, 1990 (Act No. 7 of 1990), that established the Ombudsman and empowered the Ombudsman to, amongst others, investigate corruption.
However, there were periodic incidences of corruption and maladministration and the fear was that these could become more frequent. Namibia as a young nation engaged in the complex process of nation-building could ill afford this. The Government therefore opted to take further initiatives in favour of good governance, greater accountability, transparency and cooperation in combating corruption. One such initiative was the establishment during 1997 of an Ad Hoc Committee on the Promotion of Ethics under the Chairmanship of the then Right Honourable Prime Minister, Hage Geingob, which had terms of reference set by the Cabinet. Initiatives such as these eventually led to the passing of the Anti-Corruption Act, 2003, that established the Anti-Corruption Commission as Namibia’s leading authority in the fight against corruption.
The first Director and Deputy Director of the Commission were nominated by the Head of State and appointed by the National Assembly on 9 November 2005. Upon formally assuming office on 1 January 2006 they embarked on a campaign to recruit the investigating officers and support staff of the Commission.
The initial staff complement of the Commission consisted of 32 staff members. During 2008 a new staff complement of 49 was approved. The Commission intends to fill these newly created posts during 2009 to ensure improved service delivery to the public.