Sunday, November 29, 2020

Independence of oversight institutions key to their competence ÔÇô Boko

President of the Umbrella for Democratic Change and MP for Bonnnington North constituency, Duma Boko, says government must embrace independent institutions in order for oversight institutions to be able to fight corruption and minimise conflicts of interests. In order to realise real reform, Boko says no such efforts should be sparred in ensuring that they enjoy outright independence.

In his contribution to the ongoing National Development Plan (11), Boko reiterated the need for Parliament to be independent and have its own budget. He also went on to explain that some government institutions such as the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) ÔÇô which is headed by President Dr. Khama’s cousin ÔÇô  were not independent and therefore cannot deliver the legal bite.

For the oversight institutions to be truly independent, he suggested that they should have own sufficient budgetary resources. According to Boko the legislative framework under which they operate should be clearly defined so as to empower them to deliver efficiently on their mandate.

The current operational independence of oversight institutions is also in doubt owing to their reporting structure as some report to the Office of the President rather than the National Assembly or parliament. Although promulgated through Acts of Parliament, some of these institutions report to Office of the President instead of the National Assembly.

Some pundits say the reason why some institutions are required and made to report to the Office of the President is designed “to emasculate them of their independence.”

By their nature, oversight institutions should provide the necessary checks and balances on the executive arm of government.

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Sunday Standard November 29 – 5 December

Digital copy of Sunday Standard issue of November 29 - 5 December, 2020.