Wednesday, April 04, 2012

ACC calls for integrity in water sector

ACC calls for integrity in water sector
By Gift Chanda
Wed 04 Apr. 2012, 12:57 CAT

THE Anti-Corruption Commission has called on players in the water sector to improve governance systems to fight corruption. Speaking at the just ended Water Sector Financial Forum in Kabwe held under the theme "Operational and Financial Efficiency; a key to performance improvement", ACC director general Rosewin Wandi said there is need to promote ethical codes of conduct in all water utilities to counter corruption.

Wandi observed that poorly designed financial regulations or lack of adherence to financial regulations could expose the financial systems of water utility companies to a crisis and collapse.

This is contained in statement issued by National Water Supply and Sanitation Council (NWASC) public relations officer, Rose Tembo.

"Corruption negatively affects operational and financial efficiency because of its negative effects," Wandi said.

"Apart from increasing the cost of doing business, corruption enriches a few individuals while the majority of the citizens remain wallowing in abject poverty."

Wandi cited water quality compliance, revenue collection, meter reading, connection, disconnection and reconnection of water supply, inspections and procurement of goods and services by water utility companies as areas of operation in the water sector prone to corruption.

She called on the water sector to inculcate principles of integrity and accountability which promote operational and financial efficiency leading to performance improvements.

Wandi further implored the water sector to enhance efforts in empowering communities with knowledge on their water rights and sanitation responsibilities to enable citizens report any suspected or acts of corruption or abuse of public office to the ACC.

The Water Sector Financial Forum organised by NWASCO drew 40 participants from all the 11 water utility companies.

With recommendations from the Financial Forum, a sector guideline is expected to be formulated by NWASCO which would see the formation of integrity committees in all water utility companies to counter corrupt practices.

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