The Anti-Corruption Corruption Commission (ACC) says it plans to establish a dedicated forensic investigations unit to handle complex financial investigations.
ACC Director General, Paulus Noa, told the Windhoek Observer that the additional forensic officers will have skills to analyse documents, banking transactions and cyber-related crimes.
“We have 13 investigating officers and we want to add more,” he said, adding that the plan to set up the forensic unit has been on the cards for some time.
“It is nothing new. The idea was to expand the number of officers so that we can speed up investigations,” he said.
The ACC was allocated N$61 million in the 2018/19 budget, an increase from the N$59 million in 2017/18.
Major financial forensic investigations by both private and state companies are usually done by auditing firms including KPMG, Deloitte Namibia and Ernst & Young.
Noa said the ACC outsources some of its work and also works hand-in-hand with the Financial Intelligence Centre at the Bank of Namibia.
“We belong to the same government.”
Statistics provided by the ACC this week, show that for the financial year 2016/2017, 345 reports of alleged corrupt practices were received by the commission.
The number of cases reported dropped by 14 percent when compared to the 2015/2016 financial year.
Of the cases reported, 168 fell within the mandate of the ACC, while 177 cases were closed after due consideration or preliminary investigations as they did not warrant further criminal investigations by the ACC.
Forty eight cases were completed during the year, of which seven cases were reported during previous reporting periods.
In 2017, Namibia was ranked 53 out of 176 in the Corruption Perception Index of Transparency International.
In 2015, it was ranked 45 out of 168 countries with a score of 53. Forty-six countries in sub-Saharan Africa were assessed in 2016 when Namibia was ranked the fifth least corrupt country in the region.
Among SADC countries, Namibia was ranked the third least corrupt country.
In 2016, Cabinet approved the National Anti-Corruption Strategy. However, only 25 percent of the activities of the strategy planned for 2017 were successfully implemented, the ACC said.
The ACC also carried out a National Corruption Perception Survey with the objective to establish the public’s perception on the level of corruption and other issues related to corruption in Namibia.
The ACC says its future plans will be aimed at strengthening the coordination and monitoring mechanisms of the National Anti-Corruption Strategy with a view to have all actors play their role in the fight against corruption.
The ACC believes that a strong implementation and coordination mechanism is essential to reach the 2019 target of full implementation of the National Anti-Corruption Strategy.