Institutionalising A Vision for Better Results

The creation of CONAC, ANIF, Supreme State Audit Office and Special Criminal Court tells of another dimension in the fight against corruption.

Corruption, described by specialists as a form of dishonesty undertaken by a person entrusted with a position of authority, often to acquire personal benefit, has become Cameroon's new virus posing serious threat to socioeconomic and political advancement.

The creation of several institutions by the Head of State is one of the measures aimed at combating the ill which to say the least, is an embodiment of many activities including; bribery, embezzlement, laxity and all other malfunctions existing in public life in Cameroon.

Some of these institutions include; the National Anti-corruption Commission (CONAC), National Agency for Financial Investigation, Supreme State Audit Office and the Special Criminal Court.

Created by Presidential Decree of March 11, 2006, the National Anti-corruption Commission (CONAC) was assigned with the mission to  monitor and evaluate the effective implementation of the government’s anti-corruption programme.

The CONAC has a central structure with branches in almost all ministries. The institution plays a coordinating and regulatory role in relation to the national anti-corruption policy framework in Cameroon. It has investigating capacities and the mandate to gather and analyze allegations and information about corrupt practices.

The findings of  CONAC inquiry can ultimately lead to disciplinary or legal proceedings.  Since its creation, it has produced several reports.

How these have impacted the fight is another issue. But the whole idea behind its creation falls in line with the fundamental ideal of rigour and moralisation instituted by President Biya when he took over helm of office in 1982.

In the same vein, the fight against money laundering and terrorism financing in Cameroon is partly the responsibility of the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) otherwise known as the National Agency for Financial Investigation, better known by its French acronym, ANIF.

This institution effectively became operational in January 2006 and is among the first FIUs in Central Africa to be set up. Its missions are traditionally those of a conventional Financial Intelligence Unit notably to receive, analyse and if need be, forward to the competent judicial authorities all financial intelligence likely to help establish the origin of sums of money or nature of the transactions mentioned in the suspicion report relating to the anti-money laundering and counter terrorism financing drive.

ANIF has, since inception, engaged in building capacities of its staff; it has reinforced its internal legal framework and has embarked on a continuous awareness campaign among its main partners, who are liable professions pursuant to Article 5 of the CEMAC Regulation and Article 13 of the Presidential Decree creating it.

The aim of these actions is to enhance the comprehension and implementation of the basic legal instruments regulating the fight against money laundering and terrorism financing by the different stakeholders in Cameroon.

In order to ensure the modernisation of the system for the external audit of the administration and public enterprises, decentralised political entities, organisations and professional bodies benefiting from state grants, the President of the Republic created the department in charge of audit and State control code name; Supreme State Audit Office. 

This department plays partnership role in public management through verification to ensure proper management.

On the field, the members of the mobile mission team have a free hand vis-à-vis the administrations and organisations that they are called upon to audit and are invested with all the powers of investigation. The creation of the Special Criminal Court in 2011 marked another important stage in the fight against corruption.

In effect, it set as goal fighting against embezzlement of public property, ensuring speed in judicial proceedings and the restitution of the property. 

This court tries only embezzlement of public property where the loss is above FCFA fifty millions. So far, these institutions have been playing their own part in the whole gamut to eradicate corruption in the country even though much remains to be done.

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