U.S. Embassy Niamey
Call for Proposals
The Embassy of the United States in Niger will award up to $500,000 for implementation of a program focusing on good governance and anti-corruption reform. The Embassy is calling for proposals to be submitted by September 17, 2012 for consideration. Submissions should include a full project description, budget, expected outcomes, and should align with the stated objectives.
Since taking office in April 2011, the Nigerien government has taken several actions to address the corruption and the negative impacts it has created. These actions include:
- The establishment of a “hot line” within the Ministry of Justice to report fraud, waste and abuse of authority.
- The creation of a High Authority to Combat Corruption and Similar Infractions.
- Encouraged dialogue about the prosecution of several high visibility cases of public corruption and bribery.
Corruption is frequently discussed in the press (both opposition and pro-government) and in other public venues. Demands for accelerated reforms are growing from all sectors of Nigerien society to reduce and/or eliminate corruption.
The proposed set of activities to be supported with ESF funds will reinforce on-going efforts by the GON and civil society to reduce corruption, increase transparency, and improve the public’s general understanding of how corruption grows and can be addressed. Other on-going programs in Niger complement this set of activities, including technical assistance to the Parliament to improve legislation to monitor natural resource management and training for the Ministry of Finance staff in budget transparency.
Activities and Objectives
This program will provide in-kind support and targeted training for the Ministry of Justice’s Bureau for Transparency, Combating Corruption and Nepotism (BICCN) and to the recently-created High Authority to combat Corruption and Similar Infractions (HALCIA). These activities will be implemented in support of the following objectives:
Objective 1: Transparency in public services provision improved
Objective 2: The GON’s principal anti-corruption office’ operational capacity to collect data and support the prosecution of the most serious cases strengthened.
In August 2011 the BICCN set up a “hot line” (ligne verte or green line in French) to record citizen’s report on cases of corruption and abuses. HALCIA was created in July 2011. Both of these bodies have slowly begun to operate and require support to assist them fulfill their mandates. Staff training needs are significant, in addition to the provision of key equipment such as computers and other communication items. Illustrative activities are presented below:
- Support to increase dissemination of information about the availability of and public awareness campaigns on citizen’s rights to public services to report and prosecute corruption;
- Training for BICCN and HALAC staff on corruption monitoring and enforcement and investigation techniques;
- The provision of information management technology to enhance operational efficiency.
An important part of this program will be the provision of intensive training for mid-level and senior management of both the BICCN and the HALAC. Recipient organization’s anti-corruption investigators and analysts will provide training about administrative and operational support of investigations regarding violations by public officials at all levels of government. The focus will be on investigations where it is alleged that either a public official and/or a private individual has or is engaging in a corrupt scheme that involves direct or indirect abuse of the public official’s trust, and/or undermines the integrity of government operations.
Specific topics to be addressed in this training program include:
- Conflict of Interest – Bribery
- Election crimes
- Ethics in Government
- Foreign Corrupt Practices Act
- Interception of Communications
- Obstruction of Justice
- Improved relations with civil society (public relations campaigns)
- Secure electronic data storage of on-going investigations
The equipment needs of these two offices are significant and cannot be entirely met by resources from this program. However, a contribution of Information Technology equipment and other items to be used in the course of corruption investigations would well received. Examples of the equipment to be provided include:
- Office equipment (Computers, printers and photocopiers)
- Telephone and digital recording system (for hot line)
- Fire proof and secure document storage
Expected Program Results
Improved response time for investigations
Enhanced capacity to investigate corruption
Functioning system to receive and register complaints (hot line)
Establishment of a “whistleblower” system in Niger
Increased public understanding of the government’s role to investigate corruption
Please send all submissions to: NiameyPASN@state.gov