Business Botswana to make Code of Conduct compulsory

  • There are concerns that because signing it is voluntary, most businesses that vie for government tenders ignore it



Business Botswana is on course to make it less attractive for companies not to be signatories of a Code of Conduct for the Private Sector, Global Business has established.

The Code of Conduct was developed by Business Botswana in collaboration with the corruption busting body, the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crimes (DCEC).

Because signing it has been voluntary since inception, many companies have ignored it. Efforts are now being made to ensure that companies that resist becoming signatories are considered non-compliant and sidelined in the awarding of government tenders and procurement.

In a previous interview, the head of Business Botswana Gobusamang Keebine told Global Post that his organisation had engaged with a relevant committee of the ruling Botswana Democratic Party and expressed discontent with the current situation where large foreign state owned companies can engage directly with government without involving the private sector body.

Keebine said after performing shoddy work costing the country heavily and exacerbating its infrastructure woes, such companies cast the entire private sector in a negative light.

In a statement released on Friday, Business Botswana said it was working with other stakeholders – including DCEC and the Ministry of Public Administration and Presidential Affairs to engage the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Board (PPADB) – to strengthen the Code in order to ensure that all businesses demonstrate their commitment to the fight against corruption.

The ultimate aim of the effort was be to make it a requirement for all businesses that participate in any public procurement to sign the Code.

When the Code was launched in 2011, Botswana was hailed for being among the first countries in sub-Saharan Africa to develop a voluntary Code of Conduct for businesses and the first to produce one through close collaboration between an anti-corruption agency and the private sector.

One of the main objectives of the Code is to preserve and expand Botswana’s excellent international track record in fighting corruption and to gain a competitive advantage in the global marketplace.

The status of the country as the least corrupt country on the African continent has not eased concerns that corruption has a negative impact on the performance of the economy, affects employment creation by all involved and impacts badly on Foreign Direct Investment.