Investigations of suspected cases of corruption and related crimes are conducted by the Investigations Department of the Commission. The Department thus houses one of the Commission’s core functions. It is responsible for the investigation of corruption and other related crimes.
The Department’s principal functions are:
- To receive and investigate complaints of alleged or suspected corrupt practices
- Intelligence gathering and data analysis
Once the ACC receives reports of alleged or suspected corrupt practices the Director General authorises inquiries to be conducted. An investigation will then inquire into allegations leveled against the suspect/s to establish whether a crime was committed or not under the Act. When evidence is established, the Commission will proceed to arrest the suspect and arraign them before court and prosecuted. if evidence is not established the case may be closed or administrative action may be taken.
Thus, an investigation can lead to the following outcomes:
- Prosecution of the accused once enough evidence of the commission of an offence is adduced and the Director of Public Prosecutions gives consent to prosecute the suspected offender under the AC Act;
- Exonerating an accused person if there is no evidence that points to wrong doing;
- Administrative action where evidence is insufficient to sustain a case in court or prove to the commission of an offence beyond reasonable doubt. In such a situation where evidence is insufficient, but the Commission believes that there is a loophole for corruption or an accused could have engaged in bad behaviour which cannot be proved to be corruption, an investigation can end up in a recommendation for administrative action and or a corruption prevention exercise, to seal opportunities of corrupt practices.
- The Commission can also refer any case to any relevant agency that is deemed to have adequate authority to deal with cases that do not fall under the Commission’s jurisdiction. Some cases of outright fraud, theft, drug abuse and the like have been referred to the Zambia Police or the Drug Enforcement Commission for them to competently handle.
The Anti-Corruption Act No 3 of 2012 spells out what constitutes an offence of corruption for which the Commission will investigate and prosecute. According to the Act these offences include:
- soliciting, accepting, obtaining, giving, promising or offering of a gratification in return for a favour. The Act defines gratification as any corrupt payment, whether in cash or in kind.
- Misuse or abuse of public office for private or personal gain.
- A public officer who lives beyond one’s past and present official emoluments. This offence suggests that a public officer must prove that the wealth they have acquired is within their past and present official emoluments. If they fail to provide an explanation of how they acquired such wealth or property, this may be deemed to have been corruptly or ill-gotten.
The Commission has since inception investigated a lot of cases of corruption falling within the Act as the Commission Annual Reports indicate.
Legal and Prosecutions
The Legal and Prosecutions Department is charged with the responsibility of prosecuting offences under the Anti-Corruption Act No 3 of 2012. Section 6 (1) (b) (ii) of the Act also empowers the Commission to prosecute such other offences under any written law that may come to the attention of the Commission in the course of an investigation for corruption. (The Anti-Corruption Act No 3 of 2012. As such the Legal and Prosecutions Department carries out the prosecutorial functions of the Commission which includes:
- Rendering legal advice on the on-going inquiries and giving legal opinions on dockets upon conclusion of any inquiry.
- The Department also drafts all charges and consents for DPP’s consideration and prosecutes all cases of corruption and such other offences that may come to the attention of the Commission in the course of any investigation of corruption.
- The Department also represents the Commission, in collaboration with the Ministry of Justice, in all civil matters.
- It also undertake legal research in order to enhance the capacity of the ACC to implement its mandate.
The Community Education Department is responsible for disseminating information and fostering public support against corruption through education and awareness programs as provided under the Anti-Corruption Act No. 3 of 2012. It is also responsible for cultivating and managing relationships with stakeholders and promoting the vision and corporate identity of the ACC.
The principal functions of the Department are:
- Disseminate information to the public and enlist their support against corruption through education and awareness programmes
- Cultivate and coordinate relationships with Civil Society and Non-Governmental Organizations involved in anti-corruption activities and civic advocacy.
- Produce and provide systematic information on corruption and the ACC through information; education and campaign materials.
The Commission conducts public education and corruption sensitisation programmes through various avenues such as public campaigns, rallies, lectures, radio programmes, workshops, and seminars.
The Commission also has the responsibility to mobilize and foster public support from civil society in the fight against corruption. This calls for closer anti-corruption collaboration with the Government, Civil Society and the private institutions. The fight against corruption can only be won with the support and efforts of everyone.
The function of corruption prevention is undertaken by the Prevention Department. The Department is responsible for providing technical and advisory services to public and private sector institutions with the objective of preventing the occurrence of corruption.
The Department’s principal functions are as follows:
- Examine the practices and procedures of public and private bodies in order to facilitate the discovery of corrupt practices and secure the revision of methods of work or procedures which may be prone and conducive to corrupt practices;
- Advise public and private bodies on ways and means of preventing corrupt practices through the revision and implementation of administrative procedures and methods of work compatible with the effective performance of the client body’s duties;
- Liaison with respective public bodies, develop and implement programmes and activities aimed at enhancing integrity and public service delivery by staff;
The Department also sits on various Standing and Ad hoc Committees to enhance compliance of rules and regulations through transparent and accountable systems in the delivery of public services.
Human Resource and Administration
The Human Resource and Administration Department is responsible for providing resource management and administration services that supports delivery of operational outputs of other departments in the Commission and facilitates their performance. The department’s principal functions are:
- Human Resource Management
- Human Resource Development
- Financial Management
- Office Administration
- Records Management
- Information Technology and Communication Service
- Procurement and Supplies
- Transport and Fleet Management