By Lisa Kadango Malango
NEW YORK, SEPTEMBER 19, MANA: Open Government Partnership has assured Malawi of continuing support in promoting transparency and accountability to initiate open contracting with partners on issues of governance and corruption.
Chief Executive Officer for the Open Government Partnership Sanjay Pradhan said this in New York after meeting and discussing with President Lazarus Chakwera on how best member’s states can promote transparency and accountability in procurement of contracts,
Pradhan said Malawi need to improve on issues to do with governance and corruption to make it more transparent and participatory and responsive to citizens.
He explained that OPG being an international partnership which was launched at United General Assembly in 2011 has 77 countries which have joined and Malawi has been a member since 2013.
‘’Governments and civil society get together and concreate reforms and make the government more transparent and more participatory hence less corruption’’, stressed Pradhan.
He further adds that President Lazarus Chakwera is a champion of anti-corruption which is one of the central focusses of the Open Government Partnership and Malawi stands to benefit a lot.
‘’Malawi has been a member of OGP since 2013 but has not been active recently, however, the good thing is that the president has launched a major anti-corruption campaign and it’s a big priority,’’ he said.
Pradhan point out that the Open Government partnership can support Malawi in achieving and advancing anti-corruption reforms and make a difference in fighting corruption which is visible to citizens.
‘’We discussed with the President how the OGP process in Malawi can be revived and how we can advance in promoting transparency like opening up procurement contracts which other way in which corruption is flourishing as well as opening up budgets, empowering citizens to shape and oversee government,’’ revealed Pradhan.
He stressed that the concrete reforms will revive OGP action process in Malawi and will advance government agenda and help deliver on Presidents anti-corruption campaign.
‘’Governments benefit through partnership with OGP at national level as well as partnership with citizens and civil society who drives government agenda and advance concreate reforms like ending open procurement contracts and ending anonymous companies, said Pradhan.
He adds that Government can benefit because corruption is reduced and citizens has more trust in what the government is doing and that it can be achieved through partnering with OGP.
Pradhan said anyone could search these contracts and rather than being given to the most powerful people in the society and that citizens could monitor these contracts and report if corrupt deals are involved.
He said Government can serve billions of funds because all procurements are transparent and competitive and that corruption is reduced.
‘’It’s a benefit to government because what happens is citizen trust increased and that there is a serving of money through transparency and accountability and private sector feels there is less corruption and the invest more and economic activities are enhanced,’’ he explained.
Pradhan concludes that if the action plan is ambitious with the reforms created, donors come in and finance it because they attracted to things which are transparent participatory.
Open Government Partnership is a multilateral initiative that aims at securing concreate commitments from government to promote open government and empower the citizenry fight corruption in order to strengthen good governance.
Government of Malawi is committed to fight against corruption and President Lazarus Chakwera’s initiative aims to strengthen the capacity of the citizen and Civil Society Organisation to promote Transparency and accountability in Public.
President Dr Lazarus Chakwera is scheduled to hold more bilateral discussions alongside participating in the 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly debate.