No procurement body, no vote for anti-laundering bill – AFC
With a crucial vote looming today on the anti-money laundering bill, the AFC this morning signalled it would not vote for it as there had been no progress on the procurement commission.
The Alliance for Change had insisted that the Public Procurement Commission (PPC) was a crucial adjunct to any anti-laundering framework and had tied its vote to the setting up of the PPC. The PPC is still to be established. If the AFC votes against the bill as opposed to abstaining, the PPP/C will need the support of APNU for the legislation to succeed. The PPP/C and APNU are presently at serious odds over the legislation.
The AFC statement issued today follows:
The AFC reiterates its support to the Anti Money Laundering Amendment Bill but underlines that its support is hinged to the setting up of the Constitutionally mandated Public Procurement Commission. The AFC maintains that passage of the AML CFT Bill on Monday without the establishment of the Public Procurement Commission is a half-baked attempt to stem the flow of illicit gains. Apart from the proceeds from illicit drugs; bribery, kickbacks and payoffs form the main artery feeding corrupt officials and draining away the lifeblood of poor, ordinary taxpayers.
Since the passage of the original AML legislation there has been little or no implementation and there is no reason to believe that there will be any implementation of a revamped Bill. Amended AML legislation will be used by the PPP/C government as cosmetic to hide the truth that corrupt officials would continue to benefit from nefarious deals.
The AFC’s position is that the flow of illicit funds must be stemmed at its source; in the award of contracts, and this will only happen when the Public Procurement Commission is established. If the legislature wants to demonstrate its full commitment to stamping out money laundering it will act to ensure a fully functioning PPC.