Wednesday, December 1, 2021

UB a cesspool of corruption?

Officers take bribes for tenders; companies are awarded contracts without being advertised; contracts are drawn and given to companies long after they have started operating ÔÇô these are some of the allegations contained in a Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) report, presenting the University of Botswana as a cesspool of corruption.

The DCEC study on UB procurement system followed “allegations of unprocedural award of tenders, conflict of interest, bribes and weak financial administration failing to collect tuition fees from expatriate students before leaving the country, unqualified lecturers taking students on course, vague recruitment and promotion procedures and students buying examination papers”.

The DCEC study turned up information that the university administration has favoured a relatively light touch in its oversight of procurement systems, resulting in a tip towards a culture of anything goes.

The report states that “during the interview and brainstorming workshop, there were a number of allegations of corruption where supplies officers used their discretion to award jobs to suppliers who gave them bribes”.

The report further found out that “it is common practice” for the university departments to split tenders into small bids to avoid the tenders going through the procurement committee, “so that they can award them to their accomplices”.

It also emerged that “some companies were awarded projects without being advertised and that “some lecturers negotiate the prices of equipment on their own” without reference to supplies officers. They then buy the equipment without a purchase order and later claim the money from the university.
The report further states that “contracts are drawn and given to companies long after they have started operating. This means that a company is given a job without any contractual obligations.
The DCEC report states that this “highlights the fact that there are no standards with regard to procurement process”.

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