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Africa's Public Procurement & Entrepreneurship Research Initiative – APPERI

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Kenya President vetoes huge bonuses for parliament


AP via Huffington Post

TOM ODULA

October 10th, 2012

NAIROBI, Kenya — Kenya’s president vetoed a move by the country’s parliament to award legislators bonuses of up to $110,000 at the end of their term next year.

The move is unconstitutional and untenable in the country’s prevailing economic circumstances, President Mwai Kibaki said late Tuesday.

Kibaki noted recent increases of salaries for teachers and doctors, and said Kenya requires massive resources to implement a new constitution and meet other competing demands in the economy.

The legislators last week quietly awarded themselves the bonuses, sparking public outrage.

On Tuesday, at least 100 people, including a popular Kenyan musician, protested outside parliament shouting “thieves” and urging the president not to approve the pay bill.

Kenya’s 222 legislators currently make about $120,000 a year each. The minimum wage in Nairobi, the capital, is about $1,500 a year.

Kenyan parliamentarians are fast earning a reputation for trying to give themselves expensive perks. Last year parliament attempted to raise their annual pay to $175,000 but the idea was met with such fierce public resistance that they shelved the plan. Earlier this year parliament inaugurated a new 350-seat chamber, where each of the seats cost about $3,000.

Human rights and anti-corruption activists say the motion to increase the parliament’s bonus to $110,000 – a vote that passed Thursday night with only about 30 legislators present – violates the country’s 2010 constitution, which does not allow parliament to set its own pay.

Over 200,000 high school and primary school teachers held a strike last month over pay. The government bowed to the demands after three weeks of arguing there was no more money to raise the salaries.

Doctors called off their strike last week after walking out for 18 days to protest the poor state of public hospitals where some of the doctors have had to use their lights from their mobile phones in emergency situations to conduct procedures.

Monitoring Findings of the Sierra Leone Coalition for Budget and Procurement Transparency in the Education Sector


Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

August21, 2012

TRANSPARENCY INTERNATIONALSierra Leone

20, Dundas Street, Freetown, Sierra Leone, West Africa P.O Box 1312

Press Release

Monitoring Findings of the Sierra Leone Coalition for Budget and Procurement Transparency in the Education Sector

“The Sierra Leone Coalition for Budget and Procurement Transparency in the Education Sector” supported by Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) through its monitoring exercises had so far made the following findings.

1. There are established procurement committees with the required membership in all the entities monitored

2. Most of the procurement units monitored were able to produce documentary evidence of procurement committee meetings, bid documents, etc.

3. All the bid openings were done in public

4. Most of the procurement committees work independently without administrative or  political influence

5. Lack of adequate equipment like computers, printers in all the Procurement Units monitored. This will affect there efficiency of the unit and proper storage of records

6. In some entities, there is semblance of administrative/ political interference in public procurement processes. This will undermine the independence of the Unit

7. In all the entities monitored, there is inadequate number of procurement professionals to effectively handle procurement processes especially in big councils like the Freetown City Council. This is one of the factors responsible for flouting procurement regulations.

8. There is in most cases the absence of technical experts in the preparation of bids and the award of contracts. This can lead to the quotation of wrong specifications of goods, works and services required.

9. In most of the councils monitored, there is no documentary evidence of the 5% retention fee for every contract awarded especially works. This makes it  difficult to track contractors who abandon their contracts before completion

10. There is insufficient teaching and learning materials like text books in most of the schools monitored

11. There is delay, and sometimes non-payment of the 5% retention fees

12. In most of the entities monitored contract details including BOQs are not publicly displayed. This makes monitoring of contract performance very difficult

For more information or clarification please contact Transparency International Secretariat 20 Dundas Street Freetown or call Mr. Edward B. Koroma (Project Coordinator) on the following mobile telephone numbers 076-407979/033-445884/077-173936.

© Copyright 2005, Freetown, Sierra Leone.

Bill to Stop Modern Day Slavery under Government Contracts


ACLU

By Devon Chaffee

July 12, 2012

Last month the ACLU released a joint report with Yale Law SchoolVictims of Complacency, that documents the ongoing trafficking, forced labor and abuse of foreign workers hired through U.S. government contracts to work in support of U.S. military and diplomatic missions abroad. Recruited from impoverished villages in countries such as India, Nepal and the Philippines, these men and women – known as Third Country Nationals – are charged exorbitant recruitment fees, lied to about what country they will be taken to and how much they will be paid, and often have no choice but to live and work in unacceptable and unsafe conditions.  These abuses amount to modern day slavery; all on the U.S. tax payers’ dime. Now members of Congress want to act to ensure that federal funds are no longer facilitating such exploitative, abusive and illegal practices.

To help put an end to this trafficking and forced labor under contracts funded by the federal government, Senator Richard Blumenthal (D- CT) and Representative James Lankford (R-OK)) have introduced the End Trafficking in Government Contracting Act of 2012. The bill has strong bi-partisan support in both the House and the Senate. This means that even during an election year with heightened partisan tensions in Congress, the bill is one of a handful of measures that has a good chance of becoming law. Recently, the Republican-controlled House adopted the provision—without opposition—as an amendment to a larger defense authorization bill.

The End Trafficking in Government Contracting Act of 2012 will significantly increase oversight and accountability for employee recruitment under U.S. government contracts preformed abroad.  Currently many large U.S.-based government contractors refuse to take responsibility for the recruitment policies of their subcontractors that hire recruiters which in turn use fraudulent and illegal hiring practices to increase their profits. The End Trafficking in Government Contracting Act of 2012 works to address this issue by requiring all U.S. government contractors performing a substantial amount of their contract overseas to ensure that their subcontractors and the recruitment agencies they use comply with U.S. anti-trafficking laws, policies and practices. The bill also increases accountability by increasing reporting requirements and extending criminal prohibitions against fraudulent labor practices, including trafficking and forced labor, to contractors and subcontractors working overseas.

The Obama administration has long had a “zero tolerance” policy against human trafficking based on U.S. government contracts, but to date that policy has not been effectively implemented.  As documented in “Victims of Complacency” and numerous other government and non-governmental reports, hundreds of men and women have been trafficked on to U.S. military bases in Iraq and Afghanistan where they have been subjected to forced labor and other abusive treatment by U.S. government contractors and sub-contractors.  Yet, our government has failed to fully investigate these allegations; nor has it prosecuted or taken administrative action against a single contractor for involvement in such abuses. The End Trafficking in Government Contracting Act of 2012 is an important step towards making “zero tolerance” a reality, and to bringing an end to an unacceptable chain of profits based on trafficking, forced labor and taxpayer dollars.

Nigeria: Ogoni Leader Welcomes U.S. Supreme Court Decision on Shell Case


Voice of America

James Butty

October 18, 2011

The president of the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People [MOSOP] said his group welcomes the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to hear a dispute between the Ogoni people and Royal Dutch Shell Oil Company.

The high court justices agreed Monday to hear a federal appeal by a group of Nigerians who alleged that shell was complicit in torture, wrongful deaths and other human rights abuses committed by Nigerian authorities against environmental campaigners during the 1990s.

MOSOP President Ledum Mitee said the decision sends the right message that Shell must be held to account.

“It is quite a refreshing news coming at this time, and I think it sends the right message that clearly, even though there have been delays in getting there, but at least we can see light at the end of the tunnel that someday Shell will be held to account,” he said…Read more.

Nigeria, Cameroon in new hydrocarbons, human rights deal


The Nigeria-Cameroon border region on the coas...
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Africa Report

By Konye Obaji Ori

July 27, 2011

Nigeria and Cameroon have drawn a draft agreement that seeks to protect human rights of their nationals and promote the exploitation of hydrocarbons along their border.

Nigirian President Goodluck Jonathan agreed at a recent Abuja meeting with Cameroonian Deputy Prime Minister Alhaji Amadou Ali that protection of human rights must be paramount.

“We (Nigeria) would set up a committee to consider the draft agreement,” Jonathan was quoted as having said.
Amadou Ali who represented Cameroon President Paul Biya at the meeting assured Jonathan that once the panel finished its work the document will be signed by both leaders.
The agreement was reached at the 23rd Session of the Cameroon-Nigeria Mixed Commission (CNMC).
CNMC is made up of officials from Cameroon led by Amadou Ali and those from Nigeria led by Prince Bola Ajibola.
Nigeria and Cameroon also agreed to jointly address security problems facing both countries.
The draft agreement on security will also integrate neighbouring countries such as Niger, Chad and Togo in Nigeria’s war on terror and cross-border crimes.The CNMC, which was established in November, 2002, oversaw the demilitarisation of militarised zones during the two countries’ battle for the control of the oil-rich Bakassi Peninsula, as well as the reactivation of the Lake Chad Basin Commission. The commission is now set to tackle economic plans and protect human rights for both Nigerians and Cameroonians.
Since December 2002, the commission, with the support of several donors including the European Union and the African Development Bank, has reached agreements on various development programmes along the border.

AIDS Funds Frozen for China in Grant Dispute


Logo of The New York Times.
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New York Times

May 20, 2011

By 

China’s management of grants and its hostility toward grass-roots organizations in public health issues has drawn a rebuke from a global fund. Read more

EU-Morroco fish deal a ‘failure’ for all concerned


Andrew Willis

01.04.2011 @ 09:27 CET

EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS – A controversial fisheries partnership agreement between the EU and Morocco has provided very poor returns to the European tax payer, and failed to bring about tangible benefits in the north African country, according to a report sponsored by the European Commission.

The study by consultants Oceanic Développement also underlines the over-exploited status of Morocco’s fish stocks at a time when the merits of renewing the partnership agreement have caused a bitter division between EU member states, and the bloc reassesses its wider relationship with the southern Mediterranean region.

Human rights campaigners have weighed in against the controversial four-year agreement which expired in February 2011 but was prolonged for one year, arguing that it legitimizes Rabat’s annexation of the disputed Western Sahara region to the south of the country.

EU fisheries commissioner Maria Damanaki has made it clear that a longer-term renewal of the agreement which sees the EU hand Morocco an annual €36 million must display benefits to the inhabitants of the contested region, a Spanish colony until 1975.

But the restricted-access commission report, which NGOs have fought to be made public, says neither side has gained much from the deal. Read more

Ghana- Storm over $130 million grant to Anglogold


The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis an...
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AfricaFiles no.25153, March 18, 2011

The Ghana Coalition of NGOs in Health (GCNH) has questioned the selection of AngloGold Ashanti by the Global Fund for HIV, Tuberculosis and malaria control, to carry out malaria programmes in Ghana. AngloGold received an amount of about $130 million last year to extend its malaria programme to 40 districts in the Ashanti, Western, Northern, Upper East and West, Regions. The coalition argues that it is often civil society organizations that are responsible for such activities in all countries, and is therefore baffled as to why in Ghana a multinational company was given that mandate. According to the group, the whole nation could have benefited from the amount if it had been given the money as it has members nationwide who could have prosecuted the programme unlike AngloGold which is doing the work only in districts of aforementioned Regions.

It alleged that AngloGold made a huge profit last year and could have organized the amount of money it has been given for such an assignment as corporate social responsibility. “Is it fair for a company that makes such profit to be given such grant meant for the whole country? The Global Fund gathers money from other multinational companies in the world therefore it is not fair that AngloGold should be the principal recipient,” Dr. Joan Awunyo-Akaba, National Chairperson of the coalition argued. She continued, “If it is true that AngloGold is trying to set up its NGO so it can share the money as a sub-recipient then I think it is unethical. Our information is that AngloGold has used only about $6 million of the money and has not covered even the slated districts. The money belongs to the people of Ghana so it is not too late for the company to get in touch with the coalition and work with us.Read more

US court upholds key Shell ruling in Nigeria


Logotipo Shell
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Reuters February 4, 2011 by  Jonathan Stempel

New York: A US appeals court refused to  consider a lawsuit that accused the Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSa.L) of helping Nigerian authorities violently suppress protests against oil exploration in the 1990s. In a divided vote that prompted a bitter debate among some of its judges, the court left intact what some legal experts call a landmark ruling in September that companies cannot be liable in U.S. courts for violations of international human rights law. Read more

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