Keeping a watch over government spending
In 2015, six top managers of Kenya’s state-owned Geothermal Development Company (GDC) were charged with inflating procurement costs so they could steal the excess. A whistleblower revealed that in 2012, they awarded a contract worth US$19.5 million to move equipment. In 2011, the same contractor had charged another client US$230,000 for similar work.
When national media uncovered the case, Transparency International Kenya offered to help GDC’s new management team strengthen the company’s procurement processes. We are now working together to improve GDC’s practices – as well as the wider procurement context for renewable energy.
When the scandal broke, GDC was applying for accreditation to the UN’s Green Climate Fund, which helps developing countries adapt to climate change. In 2018, Transparency International and the Open Contracting Partnership profiled the GDC case in a major report exposing loopholes in Green Climate Fund procurement processes. Recommendations for improvement include greater community consultation and monitoring of compliance. In countries like Kenya, people must demand transparency, and hold governments accountable for how they spend climate funds.
Corruption and climate change are arguably the defining challenges the world faces today. Worse, both are interlinked. One contributes to the other, and to address one, you must consider the other.