There should be no repeat of the incidences of highly questionable procurement and maintenance contracts. The use of public funds within the context of a democratic platform demands that the necessary oversight and control mechanisms are put in place and are seen to be effective. Government must ensure systematic assessment of its programmes and projects to ensure results and cost-effectiveness. Maintenance and battle readiness of military equipment also require critical attention. We are referring here to the highly sophisticated and expensive equipment including fleet management. Naturally all of these call for a maintenance culture of the highest order encompassing systems, processes and people. When we do not pay sufficient attention to maintenance schedules, do not ensure personnel are trained on the correct use of equipment or are lackadaisical in the safe storage of equipment, it reflects an institutional environment that does not place enough emphasis on integrity.
All, regardless of whether in the government departments, need to consistently build the necessary support infrastructure for a maintenance culture that works with clockwork precision. In the constrained financial times that we are facing now, it is even more imperative that upkeep and maintenance be given priority to mitigate the difficulty in procuring new resources. Another area of importance is in the implementation of development projects. Our performance on the execution of development projects is often used as a yardstick to evaluate and measure the effectiveness and efficiency of the Government’s service delivery system. Issues such as project delays, cost over-runs and substandard quality of work are often cited when assessing the implementation of development projects.
The mechanisms for monitoring and control are in place. Rules and regulations have been prescribed. Personnel have been trained and exposed to good project management practices. Yet often the results show otherwise. In many cases they point to weak implementation and supervision. We need to be serious about monitoring and supervision. If we are not thorough and lack the stamina to follow through on agreed timelines and deadlines, it means that we have failed the integrity test yet again. Inculcating values, attitudes and behaviours based on the principles of integrity and justice is arguably the most important element in the fight against corruption. Values and attitudes are shaped by an individual's upbringing and his or her life experiences. In organisations, whether private or public or the military, leaders must be at the forefront against corrupt practices. They lead honest lives based on principles of justice and integrity, and in so doing lead by example.