Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Financial Intelligence Agency wants P25m for its operations

It is now over a year since parliament approved the setting up of the Financial Intelligence Agency (FIA), under the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning, to analyse financial crimes.

But since its formation, the agency has not yet been in full operation due to insufficient funds.
FIA has request about P25 million from this year’s budget for it to kick start its mandate.

FIA’s Acting Director, Jackson Madzama, admitted that they have not started business as yet because “there are certain provisions within the law that should be changed before we can carry out our mandate fully”.

“We have requested about P25m so that we can be in full operation even though the money is not enough,” Madzama told the Sunday Standard. “As you might be aware, since our establishment, we had no budget as yet but hopefully this year the agency will be given its budget.”

Madzama said the equipment that the agency will be using is very expensive but they will try and prioritize and budget within the given funds.

He confirmed that there are about six officers within the agency who are busy preparing the agency to start operations this year. When in full operation, FIA will need about 20 employees to run the office.

“FIA is not an investigating agency but simply analyses information that it receives from its various stakeholders,” he said, adding that after the information has been analyzed, it will then be sent to relevant investigating agencies, like the police, Directorate On Corruption and Economic Crime, the Botswana Revenue Services as well as the Directorate of Security Services.

Madzama said his office is busy reaching out to the people to educate the nation about FIA.

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