THE government has directed the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB) to consider setting up Public Expenditure Tracking Survey (PETS) units or desks in public procuring entities, to enhance transparency and accountability in the construction industry.
The Minister of State in the President's Office (Public Service and Good Governance), Ms Angellah Kairuki, said in Dar es Salaam yesterday that such units were crucial for collecting information on projects being executed by particular entities.
Ms Kairuki was opening a capacity building workshop organized by the Construction Sector Transparency Initiative (CoST Tanzania). Its thrust was to sensitise public procuring entities to increase transparency in their construction projects in order to curb corruption.
She said PCCB had established PETS desks in councils to monitor the flow of public funds, adding that the anticorruption watchdog should also consider setting up such departments in public procuring entities, for easily accessing information on respective construction projects during auditing.
"As you have done in councils, you should now consider having these desks or a person dealing with PETS in public procuring entities," the minister emphatically pointed out.
She, however, said that the government had been making efforts to enhance transparency and accountability, including making public, reports by the Controller and Auditor General after being debated by the National Assembly.
Minister Kairuki further explained that the government had set aside 1.9trn/- in this financial year for the construction sector, to be channelled to development projects. She said it was estimated that between 10 and 30 per cent of the investment of publicly funded construction projects were lost due to mismanagement and corruption.
"This is a large amount of money which has consequently resulted in additional costs for the projects and infrastructure being built below standards," she said.
Minister Kairuki called upon the participants to be accountable by ensuring that public funds were channelled to development projects, basing on value for money, to support the country's vision to become a middle income nation by 2020.
CoST Chairman Mr Kazungu Magili, said the workshop aimed at sensitizing public procuring entities to abide by the country's laws, in order to increase transparency in the construction sector. He noted that people had been complaining about corrupt elements in construction sector, adding that if the procuring entities would be transparent, such queries would be minimized.
Mr Magili said CoST was working to enhance transparency and accountability in construction projects in order to curb corruption, prompting the need, therefore, for procuring entities to cooperate with it, through more transparency.
He further explained that CoST had also prepared infrastructure data standards that would enable the entities to furnish them with important information about the construction of public infrastructure. Mr Magili called upon the public to join forces in fighting against corruption in the country, rather than letting PCCB tackle the vice alone.