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Code of Ethics Bringing Real Changes in the Public Procurement in Togo

Public procurement in Togo has been in constant improvement and consolidation for years now. Many reforms can be seen implemented to ameliorate such a field for the benefice of the actors involved. One of those reforms to mention is the adoption of the decree on Code of ethics. Let’s discover a bit this Code of ethics.

The Code of ethics ruling the public procurement area in Togo clearly defines rules and regulations applicable to the actors whether from public or private sector and intervening in the frame of the processes regarding bidding, implementation and control. It handles interest conflicts too through rules which are chore elements of ethical values in public procurement.

Containing six (6) chapters and fifty-six (56) articles, this Code of ethics should bring in a lot of modifications to public procurement in Togo and contribute as such to credibility, transparency and put an end to corruption, loss and fraud in the management of public procurement and public finances.

Explicitly, the texts of the said Code precise that any public official from the contracting authority, regardless of his/her hierarchy, is invited to ‘’voice out his/her interests’’. The article 22 of the Code says “any public official must be aware that those contracts play a key role in the good management of public resources and that it’s imperative to consider their management as a strategic activity rather than a mere administrative function”.

Contracting authorities too must see to the preservation of integrity in the processes, especially in bidding, the implementation of public procurement contracts. “To do so, they will see to it that any civil servant depending on them, regardless of their hierarchical positions or any public or private entity intervening on their behalf, forbid themselves to solicit, claim, accept, receive or offer any in-kind or cash benefit in return for abstention or any other thing related to their duty”, says the article 25. The same article indicates that the contracting authorities also have to see to the implementation of efficient alert procedures to detect and denounce “corruption” and other “related violations”.

What will really change in public procurement with this decree is that as of now, the candidate and the bidder are bound to attest by writing their knowledge and respect of the current Code of ethics in accordance with a form designed by the public procurement regulatory authority. On contrary, they cannot legally tender.
This decree emphasizes on execution compliant with the performances as in article 42 that reads “any public procurement contract owner should respect scrupulously the engagements as far as planning and organization are concerned to ensure performance execution within contractual deadlines”

Now, it’s forbidden to any public official, civil servant or contract worker to exercise professionally other profit or non-profit activity of any kind, except for those paid for and mentioned in the ruling texts in force. They should also avoid offering a lobbyist confidential or privileged information or help to favor their clients to have privileged contracts with public communities; accept recurring inventions and gifts which in return will bind them as debtors.

In fact, all these measures are to reduce negative factors such as illegal practices, error dissimulations, frauds and their consequences.