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I submitted a Freedom of Information request with the Department for International Development (DFID) last month. I’m asking for the Memorandum of Understanding between DFID, the Government of Tanzania, the Serious Fraud Office and BAE Systems, and related budget details. (See here and here for some background).
The government legally has to respond within 20 days – the deadline is tomorrow. Continue reading →
“Chenji ya rada imetolewa!” – “The radar change has been paid.” So tweeted Reginald Mengi early last year when British defence company, BAE Systems, finally paid £29.5m towards education projects in Tanzania. It was not a fine, there was no admission of guilt (beyond a minor accounting irregularity), certainly no admission of corruption. But it was, at least, a settlement that channelled some funds into Tanzania’s education system.
BAE were concerned both that “their” funds should be used effectively and that this effectiveness should be seen as clearly as possible. So they worked closely with the British government’s Department for International Development (DFID) and the Tanzanian government to come up with a project to distribute desks and textbooks to primary schools throughout the country – the Primary Education Support Project (PESP). Every primary school will get text books, and desks will be delivered to primary schools in every district.
The project has been up and running for some time, and books have already been arriving in schools in many parts of the country. We know this because earlier this week a new website was launched that shows which books have been distributed by which companies to which schools, all across the country. Continue reading →
BAE’s £29.5m for education is an unsatisfactory conclusion to a case with much wider significance for the people of Tanzania
So BAE has finally paid out £29.5m for education projects in Tanzania. The payment was agreed two years ago, as part of a settlement with theSerious Fraud Office (SFO) that brought to an end the SFO’s investigation into a sale in 2002 of a $40m (£25m) military radar to the Tanzanian government. BAE admitted a failure to keep proper accounting records, relating in particular to a $12.4m payment to a Tanzanian middleman for “marketing” purposes, but avoided any admission of corruption.
The case has been closed, with some accountability for BAE and some reparations for Tanzania. But for many Tanzanians it leaves a bitter taste. Continue reading →
Written in March 2010 as part of an online course, “anti-corruption essentials,” run by the U4 anti-corruption resource centre. I had to identify an international organisation involved in anti-corruption work in Tanzania and provide an analysis of its effectiveness in helping Tanzania counter corruption.
Donor Agencies and Anti-Corruption Efforts in Tanzania
Corruption is increasingly acknowledged as a widespread and wide-ranging problem in Tanzania. This includes petty corruption affecting day-to-day interactions between citizens and the state as well as grand corruption affecting multi-million dollar projects and procurements reportedly used to finance election campaigns. Efforts to combat this problem come from several directions – political leaders creating their own anti-corruption platforms as a means of gaining popularity (see a typical example), donors concerned about good governance and accountability for funds, and civil society concerned about justice and pro-poor development. Continue reading →