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(...) Corruption is a vice which is not specific to Cameroon, it is a global phenomenon, but we think a country like ours, which does not have enormous resources, will stand to benefit if we avoid wasting money and other funds. We are determined to go on and we have not only proceeded to arrest some replica officials who are today facing the law, but have also put in place a certain number of structures (...) _/ France 24, 31.10.07
 
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Document sans titre Présidence de la République du Cameroun
“Read, share and make good use of the 2014 Anti-Corruption Status Report”

“Cameroon’s Anti-Corruption Status Report” was officially presented to the public on June 27, 2016 during a highly attended event at the Yaounde Hilton hotel. The report, prepared and published by the National Anti-Corruption Commission (CONAC), is an assessment of the actions carried out in Cameroon by different stakeholders to fight corruption. It thus highlights efforts made by CONAC, public administrative units, other State Institutions, as well as the private sector and civil society, to prevent and punish cases of corruption, fraud, embezzlement and all related offenses. While presenting the report to the public, the Chairman of CONAC, Rev. Dr. Dieudonné MASSI GAMS enjoined Cameroonians to read, share and make good use of the 2014 Anti-Corruption Status Report. Following is the speech of the Chairman of the National Anti-Corruption Commission (CONAC) of Cameroon, Rev. Dr. Dieudonne MASSI GAMS.

2 The report was officially presented to the public by the Chairman of CONAC, Rev. Dr. Dieudonné Massi Gams


3 Members of government came in their numbers


4 It was a crowd pulling event


“The Honourable President of the Senate,
The Honourable President of the National Assembly,
His Excellency the Prime Minister, Head of Government,
The President of the Economic and Social Council,
Members of Government,
Representatives of members of the Diplomatic Corps,
The President of the Supreme Court,
The President of the Audit Bench of the Supreme Court,
The Chief Judge of the Special Criminal Court,
The Attorney General of the Special Criminal Court,
The Delegate General for Public Security,
The Secretary of State for Defence in charge of the National Gendarmerie,
The Chairman of Elections Cameroon,
The Chairman of the National Commission of Human Rights and Freedom,
The Coordinator of the National Programme on Governance,
The Chairman of the National Communication Council,
The Director of the National Agency for Financial Investigation,
Representatives of Political Parties,
Representatives of Development Partners,
Government Delegates to Urban Councils,
General Managers of public and semi-public institutions,
Representatives of Consular Services, Professional Organisations andCorporations,
Representatives of Religious Communities,
The President of Transparency International-Cameroon,
Representatives of Civil Society Organisations,
Representatives of Media Organs,
Distinguished Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

We are sincerely delighted to welcome you to the official presentation of Cameroon’s 2014 Anti-Corruption Status Report organised in this Conference Hall of the Yaounde Hilton Hotel.
On behalf of the Members of the Coordination Committee here present and the entire staff of CONAC, we heartily thank you for readily accepting to sacrifice your very important activities to honour our invitation.This gesture shows how much interest you bestow on our Institution and activities and for this, we once again express our profound gratitude and unqualified esteem.
On this presentation ceremony of Cameroon’s 4th Anti-corruption status report, it is imperative for us to remind you of CONAC’s main missions as the central organ in the fight against corruption in Cameroon as well as the underlying provisions for this customary activity.
As a matter of fact, decree no 2006/088 of 11 March 2006 attributes a large spectrum of tasks to CONAC – “to contribute to the fight against corruption”.
“In that capacity, CONACis responsible for:
- monitoring and evaluating the effective implementationof the Government’s anti-corruption plan;
- gathering, centralizing and analysingdenunciations andinformation forwarded to it in respect of corrupt practices, deeds,facts andsimilar offences;
- conducting all studiesor investigationsand proposing any measures aimed at forestalling or curbing corruption;
- carrying out,where necessary,on-the-spotcontrols of the execution of projects,as well as the evaluationofconditions of public contracts award;
- disseminating andpopularizinganti-corruption instruments;
- identifying thecauses of corruptionand proposingto the relevant authorities, measureslikely tolead to its eradication fromall publicandsemi-publicservices;
- performing any other duties assigned it by the President of the Republic."
It is not unnecessary to restate here that the publication of Cameroon’s Anti-Corruption Status Report, which is a recurrent activity for CONAC, is in keeping with statutory and international obligations in the anti-corruption crusade.
The provisions of Article 24 (3, 4) of CONAC’s constituting decree states that:
- “The Commission shall submit to the President of the Republic an annual report on the anti-corruption drive.
- Such annual report shall be published.”

Similarly, the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC), ratified by Cameroon in 2006, specifically highlights public reporting as one of the measures fortransparency enhancement. This provision, expressed in Article 10(C) of the Convention deals with “publishing information, which may include periodic reports on the risks of corruption.” This justifies the organization of this ceremony.

Ladies and gentlemen, before wepresent this report, may it be clear that as per its title, “Cameroon’s Anti-Corruption Status Report” assesses the actions carried out in our country by different stakeholders to fight this scourge. It also highlights actions and efforts made by CONAC, public administrative units, other State Institutions as well as the private sector and civil society to prevent and punish cases of embezzlement, as the case may be.

Methodologically therefore, CONAC has adopted an inclusive and participatory approach which has convinced us that the eradication of this scourge should be hinged principally on the mobilisation and participation of the population. As we have always said, the fight against corruption should be the concern of all.

That said, the 2014 Report highlights:
- actions taken by CONAC and Control Institutions,
- those taken by Ministries and Regulatory Institutions, and
- anti-corruption drive in the Private Sector and the Civil Society.

Without pretending to be exhaustive, considering the 3064 denunciations lodged with CONAC in 2014 and its collaboration with various stakeholders in the anti-corruption drive, we intend to highlight the following:

1. While reaping from fallouts of public awareness and education efforts of the past years, the 2014 Report presents the PRECIS tool as an innovative instrument in the anti-corruption drive, asit advocates simultaneous implementation of actions of Prevention, Education, Conditions, Incentives and Sanctionsto effectively fight against this social cankerworm.

This explains why this Report, in prioritising the implementation of the National Anti-Corruption Strategy, focuses more than ever on the assessment of the execution of Regional Anti-Corruption Action Plans and the Rapid Results Initiatives.

For the first time, we are presenting the following statistics on the 2012 Regional Anti-Corruption Action Plan implementation:
- the national execution rate stood at 27.3%,
- the North West and Centre Regions occupied the first and second ranks with 43.68 and 43.42% execution rates respectively,
- on their part, the South and Littoral Regions occupied the 9th and 10th positions with 16.04 and 15.4% respectively,
- the execution rates for the other Regions were as follows:
 South West: 30.06%.
 Far North: 25.88%
 Adamawa: 23.32%
 North: 21.88%
 West: 21.52%, and
 East: 19.04%

The above execution rates, which are all below average, no doubt show that some efforts are being made. Conversely, this mostly indicatesa low mastery by Regional Inspectors General of their duties and an inadequate involvement of high level public officials, heads of community management institutions and the local elite in the fight against corruption. Some corrective measures have been proposed in the 2014 Report.

2. The progressive expansion of the Rapid Results Initiatives (RRI) brought about more and more satisfactory qualitative and quantitative results, hence confirming that this approach is an authoritative behaviour-changing tool. As a matter of fact, in 2014, 27 out of 38 Ministries remained indolent in the RRI implementation while the following 11 of them, 08 establishments or public and semi-public enterprises and 02 development projects got involved in these dynamics:
- Ministry of Water Resources and Energy,
- Ministry of Employment and Vocational Training,
- Ministry of Public Service and Administrative Reforms,
- Ministry of Housing and Urban Development,
- Ministry of Social Affairs,
- Ministry of Secondary Education,
- Ministry of Small and Medium-Size Enterprises, Social Economy and Handicrafts,
- Ministry of Transport,
- Ministry of Trade,
- Ministry of Basic Education,
- Ministry of Scientific Research and Innovation,
- Rural Electrification Agency,
- Public Contracts Regulatory Agency,
- Electricity Sector Regulatory Board,
- Cameroon Water Utilities Corporation,
- Camerounianaise des Eaux,
- Electricity Development Corporation,
- National Petroleum Storage Company,
- National Refining Company,
- Mekin Hydroelectric Development Corporation, and
- MEMVE'ELE hydroelectricity dam construction Project.

These RRI, which aimed at attaining more ambitious results, tackled a number of issues. We are delighted to say that this trend attests to the involvement of some political and strategic leaders of the above-mentioned administrations and structures as well as the robust contribution of some members of RRI teams. The lessons learned and good practices to consolidate and eternalise both by those heartily involved and the less enthusiastic are many to be proud of.

Regrettably, a good number of Administrations did not even consider implementing any RRI since its inception in 2011, despite the numerous reminders by CONAC. These Administrations are:
- Ministry of Justice,
- Ministry of Defence,
- Ministry of External Relations,
- Supreme State Audit Office,
- Ministry of Communication,
- Ministry of Arts and Culture, and
- The General Delegation for National Security.
At this juncture, may we remind that the National Anti-Corruption Strategy validated by the Government and its Technical and Financial Partners in February 2011 is the National Policy document for the fight against corruption in Cameroon, consequently, its application is obligatory to all administrations and citizens, without exception.

3. Moral restauration activities on sensitisation and education to integrity were carried out in youth environments especially during the 2014 national school sports and university games. These activities have helped kindle the patriotic consciences of these youths in fighting cheating and social deviances.

4. Themes for communication activities cut across management errors, ethics, fake CONAC agents and more specific issues like fraud in the issuance of driving licences, project management in Bakassi and Corruption-free Cocoa Campaign. Through these activities, CONAC sensitized citizens on the principles and necessity of integrity. 45 micro-programmes of “Espace CONAC” were produced and broadcast on radio and television in the two official languages of our country.

5. On-the-spot financial controls on poorly executed or abandoned projects in the South West Region, the Ndabassié Junction – Njimban Nursery School – Kweka Borne fontaine road-tarring project in Foumban, for example, revealed flagrantanomalies at the levels of planning, financing, execution and follow-up of road projects.

6. Also, investigations done basing on denunciations lodged with CONAC revealed embezzlement of fabulous sums of money in some development services and projects. Such embezzlements consist in:
- double payment practices,
- unjustifiable expenditures unrelated to the project,
- irregular payment of bonuses,
- unjustified payment of mission allowances,
- fake cheques to disaster victims,
- unexecuted public contracts, and
- value added tax (VAT) paid on project funds.

Ladies and gentlemen, consider for example:
- the management of funds collected from the issuance of certificates of success and contracts on the production of attestations of success in the Ministry of Basic Education which made the State to lose CFA 125 150 495 (one hundred and twenty-five million, one hundred and fifty thousand four hundred and ninety-five) francs,
- within the framework of the Memve’ele hydroelectricity dam construction project, the State lost CFA 1 792 399 619 (one billion seven hundred and ninety-two million three hundred and ninety-nine thousand six hundred and nineteen) francs representing 64% of the total compensation amount, through overvaluation of the project and crops of residents,
- the amount embezzled in the management of the compensation funds for Nsam disaster victims stood at CFA 14 743 183 736 (fourteen billion seven hundred and forty-three million one hundred and eighty-three thousand seven hundred and thirty-six) francs,
- the same can be said of the hacking of the Customs computer system known as “SYDONIA”, which investigations are ongoing.

7. Another element worth highlighting is the control on the marketing of cocoa, driving licence examinations, as well as other enquiries carried out by CONAC’s Rapid Interventions Unit (AIR) whichunveiled corruption strongholds in the services concerned. Day-to-day practices include recurrent violation of existing laws, fraudulent inclusion of names on lists of successful candidates, influence peddling, blockage of land certificate application files, collection of illegal fees for the issuance of road accident technical reports, bribery in the registration of students or endorsement of the salary files of new civil servants, among others.

8. Still in 2014, CONAC continued the development of cooperation activities with administrations and institutions in and out of the country, particularly in Africa, Europe, America and Asia.Its bright international activities caused CONAC to be frequently requested to share its experiences.

9. Audit Institutions also carried out an intense fight against corruption in Cameroon in 2014. To illustrate:
- The Budgetary and Financial Disciplinary Board (CDBF) issued 35 decisions sanctioning irregularities and management errors, and imposed fines amounting to CFA70000000 (seventy million)francs to suspected officials of some administrations and structures, as well as a cumulativedebit balance duetotallingCFA3 203 819 733 (three billion two hundred and three million eight hundred and nineteen thousand seven hundred and thirty-three) francs,
- In 2014, the National Agency for Financial Investigation (NAFI), Cameroon’s Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), recorded 521 suspicion reports transmitted by affiliate professions, and filed 60 cases to court relating to financial flows amounting to CFA128 315 890 255 (one hundred and twenty-eight billion three hundred and fifteen million eight hundred and ninety thousand two hundred and fifty-five)francs for corruption offences, embezzlement of public funds, forgery, usurpation of title, trafficking and scamming (Internet scams),
- 29 judgments resulting from cases of misappropriation andcomplicity in misappropriation of public property, attempted bribery, forgery, counterfeiting, usurpation of title and escape attempts were passed. 46 people were sentenced to deprivation of liberty, 29 acquitted and 03 benefited from stay of proceedings for refunding all the misappropriated sums. The total amount to be repaid to the Treasury as damages by the convicted persons amounts to CFA7142411151 (seven billion one hundred and forty-two million four hundred and eleven thousand one hundred and fifty-one) francs. Moreover, many movable and immovable properties were confiscated. All these repressive measures are the work of the Special Criminal Court (TCS) recognized today by almost everyone for the added value it brings to national courts and the fight against corruption in our country,
- In the same vein, the Supreme Court passed 19 judgments on cases of corruption and misappropriation of public funds.For example, in cases involving the Douala Ports Authority and the Ministry of Justice, the Supreme Court ordered payment into the Treasury of a total amount of CFA3255811032 (three billion two hundred and fifty-five million eight hundred and eleven thousand and thirty-two)francs as damages.

10. Another significant improvement was the discovery of a vast corruption network in vehicle auction sale procedures at the Douala Port. Indeed, some agents and officials of the Customs Administration and the Douala Port often organize auctionsales which do not comply with the regulations in force. They buy the carsat very low prices, at the expense of the Treasury.

11. Despite this bleak picture, some Ministries have succeededin making the fight against corruption a key objective in achieving their missions in 2014, with encouraging results. This is the case, for example, with the Ministry of Public Service and Administrative Reform, the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife, the Ministry of Water Resources and Energy, the Ministry of Trade and the Ministry of the Economy, Planning and Regional Development.

12. Other Ministries, like Basic Education, Secondary Education and Health, have struggled to enhance and improve the already remarkable results. These results, usually obtained on a small scale, deserve to be generalised.

13. In 2014, the Public Contracts Regulatory Agency (ARMP) and the National Communication Council (CNC) added a special touch to the fight against corruption. These regulatory institutions contributed significantly to preventing and sanctioning malpractices observed in the public procurement process, as well as ensuring compliance with professional and ethical rules governing communication organs. Despite these commendable efforts, excesses observed in these sectors are still issues of great national concern.

14. The Private Sector and Civil Society were not very active in the fight against corruption in 2014, althoughthe UN Convention against Corruption, ratified by Cameroon, underlines the necessity to involve these non-State actors in this crusade. Nonetheless, the Business Coalition AgainstCorruption (BCAC), through its communication, capacity-building,strategic partnershipdevelopment activities and an Integrity Programme conducted in 2014, has supported the Government in the improvement of the business climate in our country.

15. Some religious organizations do not seem to have fully embraced their role as vanguard in the fight against corruption in our country. This was reflected by their low involvement.

Ladies and gentlemen, let us now examinea practice that is becoming increasingly upsetting, insofar as it constitutes a real threat in the fight against corruption: the phenomenon of fake CONAC agentsthatabound in cities, public and private services mainly in Yaounde, Douala and Bamenda, who extort money from people through influence peddling and other offences. These acts are most oftenperpetrated by some leaders of civil society organizations acting on behalf of the National Anti-Corruption Coalition (CNLCC) and posing as CONAC investigators or regional representatives. In this regard, we take this opportunity to recall that for now, CONAC has no regional branches and that any denunciation relating to the fight against corruption is free of charge. These individuals must refrain from making it a business, under penalty of prosecution. Anyone who wants to engage in the fight against corruption must avoid exploiting victims of corruption. They should either turn to funding agencies or simply abstain from dealing with these issues.

Such excesses have also been noted and are increasingly decried among officials of some general inspectorates of services or members of anti-corruption units in Ministries who take advantage of their positions to disclose professional secrets, posing as “CONAC officials or members in Ministries where they belong”. Administrations and institutions concerned must keep away such corrupt officials, and consider legal proceedings against them.

Concerning the identity of officials implicated in the cases examined, the 2014 Report provides details in the form of abbreviations in order to guarantee the sacred principle of presumption of innocence.

Ladies and gentlemen, we have just given you a brief summary, strengths and threats against our actions in 2014.

Tribute should be paid to all stakeholders and partners for their involvement in the fight against this scourge in 2014. CONAC highly values their work.
Finally, as usual, the 2014 Report contains a number of concrete proposals likely to reduce the difficulties encountered, facilitate and sustain our common fight.

In this perspective, CONAC reiterates the recommendations made in the 2013 Report, namely:
- the continuous internalization of the UN Convention against Corruption on the appropriation of provisions concerning corruption related offences;
- the completion of the ratification process of the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption;
- the creation of an institution responsible for managing retrieved public property;
- the creation, at regional level, of CONAC branches in order to strengthen the staff and bring the institution closer to citizens; this salutary measure would help to effectively control the increasingly voluminous workloadand combat the phenomenon of fake agents, which tends to generalize because of the lack of CONAC services outside Yaounde.

It would also be Government’s advantage to reduce or annihilate corruption among regional or local officials of the Territorial Administration vis-à-vis Regional and Local Authorities (CTD). They must, for example, stop making Regional and Local Authorities bear the costs of some heavy expenditures like installation ceremonies, the refurbishing of their houses or their office equipment.

Similarly, considerable effort should be made to systematically reduce the existing level of corruption in the business sector. Indeed, the incestuous collusion between businessmen and tax officials offer devastating opportunities for corruption for our economy. It should be noted, with regret, that the current tax procedure confers too much decision-making powers to heads of tax units who often misuse tax reduction to taxpayers in exchange of bribes.
The creation of a special institution in charge of managing mineral resources and safeguarding the interests of the State in this sector is an absolute necessity considering the increasing number of corruption opportunities which constitute a real loss to our economy.

The increased involvement of religious authorities and the dissemination of their anti-corruption initiatives are critically important, given their capacity to mobilize and their status as pillar of integrity recognized by the whole society.
For its part, CONAC will continue with the same determination that characterizes its action by consolidating its achievements, without neglecting any positive contribution and without giving in to threats that tend to make it violate the oath solemnly taken by its members before the Supreme Court when they pledged to fulfil their missions: “with integrity, without fear or favour and in total independence, in accordance with the Constitution, laws and regulations of the Republic”.
Ladies and gentlemen, before the presentation of the Reader’s Guide by the Vice-Chairman, we would like to thank you once again for your presence at this ceremony and for your support. Besides the Report, we have included a collection of national and international texts on the fight against corruption.
We invite you to read, share and make good use of the 2014 Anti-Corruption Status Report.

Thank you for your kind attention.”

05-07-2016

   
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