COVID-19 and Corruption: Procurement Reform & Monitoring Emergency Spending

9.23.2020, 9:00AM

Governments are the largest purchasers in every economy as countries spend up to 20% of GDP on government procurements used to deliver a variety of social and economic services to citizens. Yet these government acquisitions are often hindered by embezzlement, fraud, and other forms of corruption which account for large government losses. Despite the procurement reforms currently being championed by most international financial institutions operating in Africa, the prevalence of petty corruption, weak accountability mechanisms, and the overall lack of transparency continues to undermine efforts to minimize corruption generally. During the COVID-19 emergency, the risk of procurement corruption has had severe implications for every country throughout the continent, especially those with vulnerable populations and limited resources. With that in mind, the business community must play a critical role in supporting broader oversight efforts in terms of public services delivery, innovation, and corruption prevention by promoting ethical practices.

This discussion features three speakers as they address monitoring effectiveness both now and in the aftermath of the COVID-19 emergency.

Carey Kluttz leads Open Contracting Partnership (OGP) country engagement and open contracting implementation. She previously served as a Fulbright-Clinton Fellow with SODEMI, the national mining company of Côte d’Ivoire, where she also supported the development of Côte d’Ivoire’s first OGP National Action Plan. Prior to her Fellowship, Carey was with the World Bank’s Governance Global Practice, where she focused on open contracting as well as governance of the extractive industries. Carey holds an MA in Middle East and Islamic Studies from the American University of Paris and a BA in French and Anthropology from the University of Virginia.

Sope Williams-Elegbe is a Professor and Head of Department of Mercantile Law, and the deputy director of the African Procurement Law Unit, Stellenbosch University. She specializes in public procurement law, anti-corruption law, sustainable development law and commercial law. The author of over 50 publications in the areas of anti-corruption and public procurement law, she is also an editor of multiple law journals. Sope is currently a member of Transparency International’s Working Group on Debarment and Exclusion. Sope has an LLM from the London School of Economics and a PhD in public procurement and anti-corruption law from the University of Nottingham, UK.

Francois Naude is a procurement and supply specialist with more than 20 years’ experience in the field. Following 10 years of management consulting with Accenture, he started specializing in Purchasing and Supply Chain Management. Francois founded MarketSqr Supply Network to promote better supply relationships and is now utilizing this platform to counter tender corruption in TenderJust. Francois graduated from the University of Pretoria as an Industrial Engineer.

The event will be moderated by Lola Adekanye, a Lagos-based attorney who leads CIPE’s anti-corruption operations in Africa. It is part of an ongoing series, COVID-19 and Corruption, organized by the Anti-Corruption & Governance Center.