Companies are often regarded as the supply side of corruption, using corrupt pay- ments to gain undue advantages (e.g. in public tenders). But companies can also be victims; victims of weak governance in an environment where doing business with in- tegrity may result in losing contracts to corrupt competitors, and victims of extortion requests by corrupt public officials or other business partners. Thus, countering cor- ruption in and from the business sector must target both perspectives: the demand side (i.e. public sector) but also the supply side (i.e. business sector). To this end, the various influencing factors need to be understood.
For the Public Sector. The public sector faces challenges, but also has opportunities to promote business integrity. The most critical challenge is that improving business integrity requires political will, in the context of a country were economic and busi- ness interests are intermingled, and public integrity is still critical. Two points emerge from this issue. The first is the need to ensure the effectiveness of state institutions in law enforcement. Of particular importance is the enforcement of anti-corruption leg- islation and that related to economic crimes. The second is closely related to the first, but concerns a particular area where the relationship between business and politics has a prejudicial effect on business and public integrity: public procurement. There are opportunities in the recently approved anti-corruption legislation, the Criminal Code and a reasonably sound legal framework with potential to promote public and business integrity and based on international standards. An additional advantage is the existence of a set of institutions, some in place others not, responsible for promot- ing public integrity, among them the Central Anti-Corruption Office and its provincial branches, the Office for Financial Information, the Competition Authority, the Central and Local/Sector Public Ethics Commissions, among others. Although still deficient (in terms of reliability and accuracy in the type of crimes), reporting on implementa- tion of the anti-corruption legislation provides a good starting point for identifying the main bottlenecks. The ratio of the number of cases initiated by the Public Prosecu- tor and taken to court, and the cases judged, can provide a good starting point for analysing the effectiveness of anti-corruption measures.
Mozambique had an estimated population of 25.04 million people in 2014, spread over a surface area of 799,380 square kilometres. Of its population, some 51.3% (12.8 million) is between 15 and 59 years of age i.e. the economically active population (National Statistics Institute, 2015).
The public sector thematic area covers business integrity issues such as bribery of public officials, commercial bribery, money laundering, economic competition, undue influence, public tendering, and tax administration. In most of these areas Mozambique has developed legal frameworks that are in line with international standards. Mozambique has signed and ratified the main international and regional anti-corruption conventions and has made a considerable effort to incorporate these instruments into its legal framework. However, despite fairly robust legal standards and regulations, our analysis shows that public sector performance in promoting business integrity in Mozambique is still relatively weak. Agencies entrusted with implementing the laws are often resource strapped with poor to low operational capacity and a lot of interference from the political establishment, such that they are unable to enforce the stipulated standards. The following paragraphs summarise the various thematic areas covered in the public sector stakeholder group.
A Agenda Nacional de Integridade nos Negócios (BICA)1 é uma nova iniciativa desenvolvida pela Transparência Internacional (TI) que procura reduzir a corrupção no ambiente empresarial. A Iniciativa BICA inclui duas fases: primeiro, a avaliação do ambiente de integridade no país, que dá origem ao Relatório de Avaliação BICA; e depois a tradução das principais constatações da avaliação numa agenda de reforma operacional a ser implementada através de acção colectiva. A Iniciativa BICA baseia-se na ideia de que a acção colectiva, envolvendo o governo, o sector empresarial e a sociedade civil, é mais eficaz na promoção da integridade empresarial do que acções por parte de participantes individuais ou mesmo de grupos de participantes agindo sozinhos. O envolvimento dos três grupos de par- ticipantes é, portanto, crucial em ambas as fases.
The Business Integrity Country Agenda (BICA) is a new initiative developed by Transparency International (TI) that seeks to reduce corruption in the business environment. The BICA initiative comprises two stages: first, an assessment of the business integrity environment in the country, resulting in the BICA Assessment Report and, second, the translation of the assessment’s key findings into an opera- tional reform agenda to be implemented through collective action. BICA is based on the idea that collective action, involving government, the business sector and civil society is more effective in promoting business integrity than actions by indi- vidual stakeholders or stakeholder groups acting alone. The involvement of these three stakeholder groups is thus crucial in both stages.
The country’s anti-corruption legislation prohibits pas- sive and active bribery of public officials, facilitation payments and undue advantages. This prohibition was included in the recent reform of the Criminal Code (Law 35/2014 of 31 December), which formally increases the potential for its effectiveness.
Mozambique has signed and ratified the main international and regional anti-corruption conventions: the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC), the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption and the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) Protocol Against Corruption, and has made a considerable effort to incorporate these instruments into its legal framework. However, enforcement is still problematic, due to weak implementation capacity and weak incentives for the promotion of business integrity. Public sector thematic areas related to business integrity cover issues such as bribing public officials, commercial bribery, money laundering, economic competition, accounting and audit, undue influence, public tendering, and tax ad- ministration. In most of these areas the country has a legal framework in line with international standards.