|Overview : |
Corruption in the private sector interferes with market mechanisms and results in economic loss through inefficiency and misallocation of resources. For this reason, a workshop was convened by the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC), and Business Botswana (BB) and the Commonwealth Business Council (CBC) as part of a programme by CBC to encourage greater cooperation between the Government of the Republic of Botswana and the Private Sector in fighting corruption.In preparation for the workshop a number of interviews were conducted to highlight how corruption affects business activity and the investment climate and to review the legal constitutional and administrative arrangements currently in place to counter the threat of corruption. The workshop participants (representatives from all sectors) felt that “while Botswana rightly enjoys a good reputation for the integrity of the business environment, corruption and mal-administration remain significant problems within the Government and private sector”.Concerns were also raised regarding issues of conflict of interest, which arise as a result of links between the public servants, private companies and politicians. Following the workshop, an Agenda for Change was endorsed and agreed upon. Recommendations in the Agenda included the development of comprehensive guidelines on corporate governance, which could be encompassed in a Code of Conduct for the Private Sector, recommendation on how Government might simplify and rationalize public administration in order to eliminate the scope of corruption.
Following the thorough stakeholder engagement, the Code of Conduct for the Private Sector was launched in 2011. The purpose of the code is to guide the private sector against unethical behavior when conducting their business activities. At the launch, about 15 companies signed the code, subsequently, a further 60 companies signed. Since the Code is voluntary, there has been a low take up rate by businesses. The DCEC considers that the implementation of the Code of Conduct for the Private Sector has been unsatisfactory and that signatories to the Code of Conduct have not been adhering to the Code. Take up of the voluntary Code and enforcement remain key issues that limit the effectiveness of the Code.
Business Botswana and DCEC with the assistance of UNDP have agreed to review and revise the Private Sector Code of Conduct to ensure that it is aligned with Vision 2036, NDP11, the Sustainable Development Goals, and international and national anti-corruption standards and best practice.The regulatory model (voluntary Code), incentives to engage with the Code and enforcement mechanisms need to be considered as part of the review.