Monday, October 25, 2021

Grappling with the thin line of corruption

The Competition Authority (CA) has raised concerns about anti-competitive behaviour as well as bid rigging particularly in the country‘s multi-billion Pula projects.

Speaking recently at the signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Gambling Authority, CA acting Chief Executive Tebelelo Pule said in the issues of tendering, there were instances of cartels, bid rigging, and collusive tendering in the country and around the world.

“We have signed MoUs with DCEC and PPADB before and the public do understand the difference between anti-competitive behaviour and corruption,” said Pule.

Pule stated that the authority presented different audits to different accounting officers in relation to the outcome of the findings.

She said the anti-competitive behaviour is a serious concern to the economy adding that it also showed other authorities the other areas that could lead to corruption in tendering. 

She observed that different tenders lead to different anti-competitive behaviours.

She spoke of identifying different market shares to identify dominating firms through the assistance of different regulators, adding that it differed how it was being measured.  

She further expressed concern that anti-competitive behaviour was something that never stopped anywhere around the world. She cited that even the World Bank was aware that the behaviour never ended. 

“We do advise government on laws that have an anti-competitive effect. We also advise the government on all international agreements that have a competition element,” Pule stated.

For his part, Gambling Authority Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Thuli Johnson said the signing of the MoU was an opportunity to cement a relationship that had already started in terms of collaborations in a number of key strategic areas, noting that the CA had already handled issues of competitiveness in the gambling industry.

He further said the basis of the MoU was that while the two organisations implemented two separate mandates there were areas of intersection and hence the need to cooperate. 

“Gambling is an economic activity that affects the buying power of every individual who partakes in it, and the gambling industry generates large sums of money through competition,” said Johnson.

Johnson stated that as part of the cooperation agreement, the two institutions will among other things share relevant information, assist each other with investigation, research and analysis of cases that one party may be engaged in, and conduct joint training exercises.

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