By Philip Buda Ladu
An official at the National Independent Anti-Corruption Commission has revealed technical areas he believes are loopholes that made South Sudan to he ranked as the most corrupt country in the world.
South Sudan was ranked as the most corrupt country in the world by the 2021 Transparency International Perceptions Index.
The country was graded number 180, out of 180 countries studied in the report. Last year, South Sudan stood as the second most corrupt in the world.
Dr. Samuel Mading, the Deputy Chairperson of the Independent Anti-Corruption Commission said there are many simple technical things that made South Sudan to be categorized by Transparency International as the most corrupt country.
He said the absence of asset declaration by senior gov’t officials in the country, failure to conduct corruption concept survey and criminalization of corruption among other loopholes are the small technical things that made South Sudan found itself being ranked as the number one corrupt country in the world.
Dr. Mading said as Anti-Corruption Commission, they know there are many loopholes which made the country to fall under that category.
“If we do this annual asset declaration, you know it will raise also our value. We do also our annual corruption concept survey, country review which we review our laws based on UN Convention against corruption those things are a help to clean the country,” Dr. Mading asserted.
The Deputy Chairperson of the Anti-Corruption Commission hinted that it is difficult for him to defend that South Sudan is not in that category of the most corrupt countries in the world saying there are very simple things that can let them down if they are not addressed.
He said the other issue is the Corruption Concept Survey which is also supposed to be done annually because that is what they are asking the public how they think and based on that they know the weaknesses and be able to give their advices to the different sectors of the gov’t.
Asset Declaration by high-ranking government officials, senior civil servants and senior officers in the Army and all organized forces which is mandatory every year have not been done since 2012 due to a number of challenges triggered by the political crisis in the country in 2013 which rendered the Commission powerless.
Dr. Mading said they are faced with problems of budget; shortage of staff as most deserted their duty stations and no proper office and infrastructure for keeping data.
“Since we printed the asset declaration forms in 2012 up to now, we didn’t print yet that needs money, the other problem that is facing us now is we don’t have a strong room where we keep the document. We don’t know where to start now because most of our staff 90% have deserted,” Dr. Mading affirmed.
He said as Anti-Corruption Commission they feel that the issue of asset declaration is not clear for the public especially the government officials, constitutional post holders either in parliament, in the Cabinet or civil servants, senior officers in the army and organized forces.
He underlined that since 2012 when they conducted the asset declaration, they couldn’t repeat it in 2013 as they were interrupted by the war and that war blocked everything, demoting all their activities.
“To give order we the Commission is supposed to be ready first because the department or the directorate of Corruption Prevention and Education needs enough staff which 90% of them have deserted, these experts who can go and do this and even the form itself that needs to be printed needs a lot of money. We need also even a system where we can keep the documents which are the records,” he noted.
Dr. Mading said they are hoping for a financial recovery such that enough budget will be allocated to the Anti-Corruption Commission so that they can do their job.
“We give awareness to the people; we write official letters through an order from the President and also the parliament especially the Committee for Public Accounts in the Assembly,” he highlighted the Commission’s roles.
He stressed that once the President issues an order; they will start their work by giving awareness to the people so that a person knows his/her obligation and responsibility that’s required by the public.