Esteemed Members and the Community at large,
Today is International Anti-Corruption Day (https://www.un.org/en/observances/anti-corruption-day), an important event on our calendar. The theme of this year International Anti-Corruption Day is “Your right, your role: Say no to Corruption”. As part of the Engineering Community, the WFEO Committee for Anti-corruption (CAC) is marking the special Day focused on “Advocacy for Enhancement of Integrity Pacts in Infrastructure Projects as a game changer to Eradicate Corruption”. In making this statement, we acknowledge the unprecedented impact on economic and societal systems brought about by the onset of the global COVID-19 pandemic. At regional and national levels, this has affected the pace, scope and mode of our Anti- Corruption Strategy roll out.
Under my chairmanship, the Committee collaboratively focuses in fulfilling the anti-corruption awareness advocacy and prevention mandates for all global Engineering Practitioners. This is done by organising activities that include individual networking meetings for knowledge sharing and advocacy through conferences and webinars. It was in that vein that on 11th March 2021, WFEO CAC through the Institution of Engineers Rwanda (IER) hosted a webinar titled Engineering, Integrity and Innovations for a Healthy Planet. This was held to celebrate the second World Engineering Day for Sustainable Development which is marked annually on the 4th March since 2020. Among the speakers were the UNESCO’s ADG for Natural Sciences and AU’s Director of the Commission for HRST and it was attended by participants from the host country Rwanda and other countries from Africa, Asia and Europe.
Through strategic alliances, the World Federation of Engineering Organisations (FAEO) Committee on Anti – Corruption (WFEO CAC) and the Global Infrastructure Anti- Corruption Centre (GIACC) collaboratively provide free online training resources on anti-corruption training modules and manuals https://giaccentre.org/training-resources/, Project Anti-Corruption System (PACS) designed to assist the prevention of corruption in infrastructure projects and 15 standards meant to impact on all project phases, all project participants and throughout the project contractual structure https://giaccentre.org/pacs-overview/ and access to 25 anti-corruption benchmarks https://giaccentre.org/commonwealth-benchmarks/ containing the best practice actionable measures for professionals. All provide advice and tools to help organisations and individuals in both the public and the private sectors understand, prevent and deal with corruption.
WFEO CAC strongly believes that the foundation to achieve SDG 16 is the effective emphasis on advocacy for public and private entities to holistically comply with the family of standards ISO 9000 which are concerned with the Quality management Systems, the family of ISO 14000 concerned with Environmental Management Systems, the family of ISO 31000 concerned with the Risks Management Systems, the family of ISO 37000 concerned with the Governance of Organisations and the family of ISO 45000 concerned with the Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems in order to achieve the desired equity, diversity and inclusiveness in the world.
Looking ahead, it is anticipated that 2022 will bring increased momentum as we adopt a new theme: “Anti-corruption Awareness Campaigns, Education and Training of Stakeholders.” This shows the special importance of Anti-corruption in the thread of “build back better” from the COVID-19 pandemic at all levels. A number of activities in different formats online and off line will be organized, all stakeholders are welcome to join us in these activities announced in the WFEO website https://www.wfeo.org and social media.
In conclusion, we appeal for strict measures be introduced in order to create cashless environment for a corruption free world. We also appeal to all Engineering Institutions in Academia to introduce compulsory anti-corruption module as part of their Engineering syllabus for Graduates, practitioners in industry to adopt and apply Anti-Corruption tools like PACS in their respective countries as contribution to the attainment of SDG 16 for the betterment of mankind.