The winning of the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA)’s “the most transparent organization in government” Award by the Directorate of Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) has heightened hopes that the fight against corruption may be destined for even greater public support.
Rose Seretse, Director of DCEC, could not contain her delight on receiving the award as she told the Sunday Standard in an interview following the awards, that, “There has always been a perception that we are not willing to share information, especially with journalists, but I am very happy that in the final analysis a recognized media monitoring organization like MISA acknowledges our efforts.”
Although Seretse posited that she did not expect the award, she found the prize very encouraging in that it offered her organization an opportunity to rejuvenate its media and public relations strategy.
“To this end, I must admit this is a prize we collectively share at the DCEC and in particular thanks to our ever interactive Public Relations office under the stewardship of Mr. Lentswe Motshoganetsi,” said the DCEC Chief.
As such, the MISA award was expected to have the added effect of not only debunking any remnant negative perceptions about the DCEC, but should also stimulate other Ministries and departments in government to begin to want to be seen in better light, and therefore share information.
On launching the award, Larona Segaetsho, Chairperson of MISA indicated that the process of identifying the awardees was very simple.
“It involved requesting information from the targeted departments and noting the time they took to respond. We also searched and interrogated their websites to convince ourselves that they are indeed doing the desired job of opening up the government,” Segaetsho told the audience.
Mention was made of the fact that in all the instances that enquiries were made to the relevant departments, the affected departments were kept in the dark about the intentions of the whole process. On that score none of the departments could have possibly braced themselves for the outcome in any way.
Thapelo Ndlovu, Director of MISA, said the awards were conceived in the context of commemorating the World Access to Information Day.
Meanwhile, the Office of the President (OP) was awarded the most Secretive organization award, although no one from the OP was there to receive the award, which was epitomized by a locked key symbol-trophy.