ACC needs to be more capacitated: Van der Merwe

Deputy Director General of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), Advocate Erna Van Der Merwe, said the lack of sufficient funding and human resource capacity for the ACC is hampering its operations.

Van der Merwe was responding to questions posed by this agency during the ninth annual media briefing session held at Swakopmund on Friday.

“The commission, as well as the Namibian Police Force, require more funding and human resources capacity in order to ensure timely and adequate investigations on the ongoing cases, as well as to take on newly reported cases.

If you look at the newly established Namibia Revenue Agency (NamRA) for example, they have already appointed about 53 auditors at their head office alone, and in comparison to that, the ACC only has 36 investigating officers serving the entire country, which is not enough,” she said.

Additionally, Van der Merwe noted that the commission only has 21 Public Education Corruption Prevention officials appointed for the whole country.

“If you think of the importance of our work and the impact that it has on the country if corruption is rife, a message needs to be put across that we urgently need to be capacitated,” she stressed.

There are currently 82 active cases including matters not finalised, either in court, waiting for Prosecutor General’s further instructions and or ongoing investigations, in the Erongo ACC office, which also covers the Kunene Region.

The office only has 3 investigating officers and one position vacant as well as one police officer seconded, who assists in various duties.

Chief Investigating Officer at the Erongo Office, Willem Olivier, said the office is faced with challenges of hostile witnesses, collecting evidence, recording statements and the distances between the regions as well delays of trials for various reasons.

Olivier has recommended that increased public awareness on corruption, reporting of corruption and the improvement and strengthening of controls in the systems and processes in organisations will assist tackle the challenges.

“Filling of vacant investigations position and creating and appointing another investigating officer position will also assist in the speedy investigations and gathering of investigations to complete trials on time,” Olivier noted.

Source: The Namibian Press Agency