Gaborone — It is critical for government to plan thoroughly for infrastructure projects in order to assist the implementation process and the fight against corruption, says permanent secretary in the Ministry of Infrastructure and Housing Development (MIHD), Mr Dikagiso Mokotedi.
He said his ministry was responsible for implementing and delivering government infrastructure projects and related services, and that all stakeholders had a role to play in better planning.
"The planning process is very important and when ministries recommend a project for us to implement, issues such as land and the availability of utilities and all other factors are considered," said
Mr Mokotedi, adding that it was important to have thorough planning that involved all stakeholders.
He added that thorough planning would reduce the likelihood of problems cropping up during the construction stage, noting that they "often lead to cost overruns and late delivery of projects."
Mr Mokotedi said having been restructured into a new ministry in October 2016, they were working on creating a new department which would supervise infrastructure planning, oversee environmental impact assessment studies and the availability of utilities such Mr Mokoteldi also revealed that measures had been put in place to strengthen the evaluation of tenders for construction projects and minimise the potential of corrupt practices.
"Deputy directors responsible for infrastructure departments have been constituted into a committee whose role is to verify all evaluation reports and recommend to the director.
The ministry also conducts corruption risk assessments in order to identify and mitigate against areas prone to corruption," said Mr Mokotedi.
He noted that like other government ministries, his ministry had a corruption prevention committee, which had the responsibility to sensitise staff and raise awareness as well as implement anti-corruption initiatives.
"We have anti-corruption officers in all our depots across the country whose role is to ensure that all our officers across the country are sensitised about corruption, and to safeguard them against corruption practices.
Mr Mokotedi also noted that they were working closely with the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC).
He added that the ministry had an anti-corruption policy which was under review. He said it would be translated into Setswana during the 2017-18 financial year. He said the initiative was part of the government priority areas, which include the pledge to fight corruption in all its manifestations.
Source : BOPA