The Accountability in Tanzania Programme (AcT2) had a breakaway session including a discussion panel to discuss CSO work on anticorruption during the CSO week in Dodoma. Panellists and participants discussed recent citizen-led anti-corruption efforts from AcT2 partners and findings from a follow up study on citizens led efforts in the fight against corruption. Public Expenditure Tracking Survey (PETS) and Social Accountability Monitoring (SAM)ensure citizens track Local Government Authorities by being involved in planning, budgeting and influencing policy to deliver quality services to citizens.
This session was used to continue the conversation on citizen-led anti-corruption efforts between key stakeholders. CSOs work with PETS/SAMs groups all over the country to track public resources especially financial aspect in public projects. Key actors in this process are usually public officials especially Local Government Authorities, President’s Office Regional Administration and Local Government, and Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB).
The study found that PETS cases take too long to resolve, there are circumstances that bribes are not so easily visible, civil servants implicated get transferred instead of disciplinary procedures against them and PCCB is less visible. The good news is that; supporting citizens-led efforts works, and that civil servants have become more responsive. The study also found out that when procedures are not in place, informal compromises increases.
Participants and panellists pointed to the fact that community anti-corruption efforts are critical and the conversation to improve, institutionalize and systematize should continue. PETS continue to prevent loss of public funds especially where there is transparency. There are reported incidences where citizens are not accorded cooperation from decision makers which limits access to information. However, there is need for increased awareness and strengthened institutions since corruption is a systemic issue. “PETS is indispensable in the fight against corruption and teamwork is crucial as everyone has a role to play. We need to understand there is need for change of mind-set and behaviour, therefore PCCB cannot work alone, we need cooperation from the CSOs and citizens” said senior PCCB official during the discussion. Noela Msuya from Child Support Tanzania shared her organisation’s experience “In Mbeya, community groups are involved in allocating, spending and managing public resources because there is free flow of information and transparency. This has created trust and as a result citizens are able to access their entitlements from the local authorities”.
The AcT2 programme is funded by UKaid from the UK government and supports a selection of CSOs to implement strategic interventions designed to influence positive change in the attitudes and behaviour of citizens, civil society and government. The programme also aims to increase government response to issues such as citizens’ participation, corruption, the inequities linked to disability, age and gender, and also the impacts of climate change.
The session’s panellists were Falesy Kibassa from Directorate of Financial Tracking Unit – PO-RALG, Dr Daniel Pundu (Head of Research, PCCB), Amanulus Kibona ( Programme Manager, Hakikazi Catalyst) and Rehema Tukai (Deputy Director, AcT2). The session moderator was Amani Manyelezi, a senior manager from Accountability in Tanzania Programme.