By Harrison Arubu
The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) says lack of legal framework is a major corruption risk factor in the country’s e-government platforms.
The platforms include the Federal Government’s Treasury Single Account (TSA), the Government Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS) and the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS).
This is one of the findings of a Corruption Risk Assessment (CRA) of the systems recently conducted by ICPC with support from the European Union and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
Presenting the draft report to stakeholders at a validation meeting in Abuja on Tuesday, ICP spokesperson, Mrs Rasheedat Okoduwa, said the situation had exposed the systems to manipulation.
“We found that there is no specific legal framework that speaks in particular to e-government platforms in the country.
“Guiding legal framework is badly needed because when you have a law in place; it creates boundaries, roles and responsibilities so that nothing is left to discretion,’’ she said.
Okoduwa said it was also found that the platforms were designed without the inputs of some key stakeholders tasked with the regulation and monitoring of financial and personnel management.
For instance, she said officials of the National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission (NSIWC) told the team of assessors that they were not involved in the design of IPPIS.
“There were allegations that some ministries, agencies and departments manufactured their own roll outside the salary template approved for them.
“The only way that could have been countered was if NSIWC were involved and check their data against the data that the agencies were putting in the system.’’
Okoduwa said it was also discovered that due to the general low level of ICT in the country, operations of the platforms were in few hands.
This, according to her, has resulted in a monopoly of access and control that creates opportunities for manipulation of the platforms.
Recently, the ICPC Chairman, Mr Ekpo Nta, said the IPPIS risk assessment exercise exposed some public servants collecting salaries in four different ministries.
At Tuesday’s meeting, Nta said the e-government CRA report would be finalised and an integrity plan put in place for implementation by all bodies concerned.
Nta, who was represented by the Secretary of the commission, Dr Elvis Oglafa, said this was to enhance the efficiency of the e-government systems to make them less vulnerable to risks of corrupt tendencies.
The CRA, according to him, was conducted in 10 states between Febraury and April with a total of 26 assessors drawn from five collaborating MDAs