Positive results in ‘Phones against Corruption’

In 2014, the Finance Department and UNDP trialled the ‘Phones against Corruption’ initiative; an SMS based reporting mechanism that allowed users to anonymously report corrupt activities.

The concept uses free-of-charge text messages to the Digicel number ‘16321’.

This sees the identity of the user protected as the mobile numbers are encrypted and only the report is sent to the Department of Finance.

The Department launched the roll out of the project to include 14 provincial governments and 30 national government agencies.

Secretary Dr Ken Ngangan said since the launch in July 2014, the initiative has seen positive results uncovering over 500 cases.

Out of the 110 cases that were reported in 2014, 246 in 2015, 131 in 2016 and 11 in 2017, two cases have resulted in convictions, 5 cases are currently before the courts, 10 have been completed and over 70 are in various stages of investigations.

The department’s internal audit and compliance division go through a process of filtering, scrutiny and prioritisation using a specially designed database management system where all cases are investigated through a due diligence process, before any legal action or prosecution is undertaken.

Annette Kora