"We will not be able to eradicate corruption, but it is our intention to mitigate it, reduce it as much as possible", said the assistant attorney general Inocência Pinto, who this Tuesday presented in a press conference the general lines of the document, which will be in public consultation until May 18 (available at https://www.consultapublica.gov.ao).
According to the head of the national directorate for combating corruption and coordinator of the technical subgroup in charge of drawing up this proposal, the strategy (Enaprec) brings together "all actors at the level of the executive, the private sector and civil society to bring the desideratum to a successful conclusion to repress this evil that we all feel, every day, wherever we go".
The document has seven chapters, including one dedicated to prevention, another to detection and another to repression, the three axes defined to ensure the effectiveness of mitigating corruption, with 60 actions in total, 45 of which are directed towards the public sector, eight towards private sector and seven for civil society.
Among the actions aimed at preventing corruption in the public sector, Inocência Pinto highlighted the adjustment of the State's remuneration policy and the adoption of mechanisms to improve the national minimum wage: "It is not enough for us to increase wages, it is necessary that they guarantee bread and rice on the citizen's table for 365 days, the citizen must feel comfortable with the salary he earns," she said.
Inocência Pinto also spoke about the change in the regime for declaring public office holders' assets, which are currently delivered to the Attorney General's Office (PGR), but can only be opened if a criminal or administrative proceeding is in progress and by court order.
"If we are fighting corruption and want to promote transparency, how are we going to monitor the financial and asset evolution of those who declare if we do not have access to the content of the declaration of assets?", she questioned, maintaining that it is not a matter of public access, but rather a "semi-open" regime that allows justice operators and legal inspectors to have access to declarations to prevent acts of corruption, embezzlement and other economic and financial crimes.
Reducing simplified contracting to a minimum is another proposal.
"We have been seeing that this hiring procedure has become the rule, if we are talking about prevention we need to change this framework", she underlined.
The same happens with the use of consultancy contracts, which should be limited to the minimum necessary, verifying that "many managers use this to enrich themselves", said the head of the PGR.
Inclusion of subjects on corruption in the academic curriculum, computerization of public services, electronic contracting procedure as a rule and attendance of courses on ethics, professional deontology and public probity for appointed managers are other proposals for the public sector.
The strategy also includes actions aimed at the private sector, including awareness programs on corruption and related crime, internal control and compliance mechanisms and the adoption of a declaration of integrity as a requirement for participation in public procurement procedures.
In the case of civil society, Enaprec foresees, among other measures, the promotion of anti-corruption initiatives and participation in the formulation of public policies on the matter.
Within the scope of detection, the culture of whistleblowing and zero tolerance is encouraged, as well as witness and whistleblower protection mechanisms.
In terms of repression, it is recommended the adoption of swift mechanisms for the total recovery of the proceeds of crime, optimization of information technologies and strengthening of inter-institutional coordination and cooperation of the various bodies involved in the repression of corruption and related criminality.
Inocência Pinto pointed out that the Angolan authorities are currently dealing with mega-processes, complex processes with more than 2,000 pages that require a more assertive investigation and modern and complex investigation techniques such as telephone tapping and video surveillance images.
The prosecutor also underlined that Angola was recently evaluated by the International Financial Action Group (FATF) within the scope of the implementation of the UN convention against corruption, having recommended that the investigation of crimes that generate more advantages such as drug and mineral trafficking be intensified precious metals and fuel smuggling.
Asked about how the proposal will be approved and implemented, Inocência Pinto said that it is still in the public consultation phase, to gather contributions and only then will it be decided whether it will be via presidential decree or by the National Assembly.
She was also convinced that the proposal will be approved, despite containing several measures for the public sector that go against what has been the practice of the executive.
"Our feeling is that it will be approved, we have been receptive in this regard", said Inocência Pinto, adding that the document was not prepared by the PGR, but by a working group that includes various elements of ministerial departments.
He was also favorable to the creation of an anti-corruption agency, an autonomous entity that depends directly on the President of the Republic to coordinate all necessary actions and stressed that Angola must practice acts that demonstrate that the country is willing to put an end to this type of crime.