Thursday, July 16, 2009

Civil Society and Corruption: Managerial problem? part 1

As mentioned in the earlier post Founder Member Syndrome (FMS) sips through to management of NGOs. Many people infected with FMS normally influence all processes and in some cases they even insist that they should have permanent membership on Boards or Executive Committees. Their permanency is not for direction or to retain the vision, it is simply for personal benefits. It comes in many ways. One of them is conflict of interest through procurement of goods and services. Relatives; friends and in laws feel the positions within the organisations and tenders are given to either their own companies or those of their associates.

In one situation, Board members expressed interest to supply using their organisations and they were part of the evaluation team. I analysed the scores and the range showed that indeed there is no shame for some of us supposed to be promoting good governance. While the government has no right to use CSO as a scape goat, H.E. Yoweri Museveni's appointment of a wife as a Minister, brother as a Senior Presidential advisor, son and other in laws in key military and State house positions as well as recycling corrupt Ministers in one way or another related to him, may look more angelic compared to what is taking place in other organisations. May be one has learnt from another.

In an organisation that I serve(d), a Board member wanted to bring in a boy friend as a Program Staff. A serious fight erupted and it almost consumed-up the whole organisation. What surprised me was not the act- because I have seen many wanting to influence processes beyond sanity; the surprise was an executive Member putting ultimatum to an organisation either to recruit their own or face closure. This is what CSOs live with.

In another organisation, a Board member insidiously asked to serve at Managerial level. He manipulated all processes and since he was a signatory began embezzling funds. He intimidated all. Any form of requests to account would be met by every resistance. What I hadn't known is that he had full support of the Board chairperson who was also a signatory.

I shared with the Chairman of that NGO and later found out that he had revealed to the fraudster all that I said including the 'whistle blowers'. The result was obvious- threats of violence and dismissals. When through other contacts demand for accountability was emphasised beyond that organisation, the fraudsters resigned and wrote to donors to withdraw all funds since the NGO had long closed.... many did, some requested for explanation and continued with small grants. By the way which report do partners believe?

More later....

No comments: