Citizen Committees to Control Racket in Public Administration (BF0007)
Action Plan: Burkina Faso Action Plan 2017-2019
Action Plan Cycle: 2017
Lead Institution: Public structures
Support Institution(s): MFPTPS, MFSNF, MATD, OMS, RAME, REN-LAC, BALAI CITOYEN
Policy AreasAnti Corruption and Integrity, Anti-Corruption Institutions, Health, Justice, Open Justice, Public Participation, Public Service Delivery, Security & Public Safety
What is the commitment?: Stake : combating any form of racket by setting up mechanisms of citizens’ watch comprised of public administration, users and OCS Overall objective: improving the quality of service provision in public administration Expected result : the quality of service provision in public administration is improved by the reduction of cases of rackets For this first plan of actions, only service provision in health field will be considered.; How will this commitment contribute towards addressing the public issue?: This commitment will enable : • To formalize a legal framework for the setting up citizens’ committees; put in place a mechanism for complaints receipt ; hold periodic consultation meetings ; make denunciation of recognized facts ; make suggestion for improving public service organization and functioning; raise awareness of service providers to comply with ethics and deontology codes ; Increase users’ awareness on their rights and duties.; Why is this commitment relevant in terms of PGO values?: This commitment allows : raising awareness of the various actors and contributes to transparency ; Civic participation, improved by the composition of the committee in which sit users, civil society organizations and civil service; Operationnalisation of ethics and deontology codes and make administrative officials improve service provision (liability).; Additional details: State Budget Link with main lines 1 and 2 of the National Plan for Economic and social development (PNDES ) Link with sector codes of ethics and deontology Link with the charter quality of the public service
IRM Midterm Status Summary
7. Setting up citizen committees to control racket in public administration
Language of the commitment as it appears in the action plan:
“Setting up citizen committees to control racket in public administration”
Stake: combating any form of racket by setting up mechanisms of citizens’ watch comprised of public administration, users and OCS
Overall objective: improving the quality of service provision in public administration
Expected result: the quality of service provision in public administration is improved by the reduction of cases of rackets
For this first plan of actions, only service provision in health field will be considered.
Formalize a legal framework for the setting up of citizen committees in regional hospitals (CHR) and University hospitals (CHU)
Put in place a mechanism for complaints receipt in regional hospitals (CHR) and University hospitals (CHU)
Organize awareness-raising workshops for health workers on the respect for ethics and deontology codes in regional hospitals
Carry out and broadcast awareness-raising spots on the rights and duties of users
Start Date: November 2017 End Date: June 2019
Action Plan is available here
Context and Objectives
This commitment seeks to reduce corruption in Burkina Faso’s health sector. According to REN-LAC, the health sector ranked 13th among the public services sectors with the greatest number cases of corruption in 2017.  The report revealed that racket was the most frequent corruption practice in the sector; 42.10% of patients at medical centers did not pay at the cashier. 
In the view of Claude Wetta, REN-LAC’s Executive Secretary, rackets usually occur during appointments; medicines and materials are diverted at no cost for patients, and patients are directed to private medical centers. 
Racket may also involve a direct sale of products by health officers.  This corruption endangers lives and weakens economic productivity.  The National Authority for Government Oversight and Fight Against Corruption revealed that corruption in the Kossodo Health District in 2016 accounted for more than FCA F 13 million.  In addition, health industry racketeering is reported by testimonies, sometimes anonymously, rather than formal legal complaints, which make follow-ups challenging.  This confirms that corruption practices in the health sector can compromise citizens’ access to health and worsen public finance. Complaint mechanisms are still far from being completely effective.
To that end, the commitment seeks to improve the quality of service provision in public administration by setting up oversight committees of CSOs, governments and citizens. According to responses provided by Sidi Barry, citizen committees will create mechanisms for handling complaints, hold periodic meetings to discuss corruption cases, and make suggestions to improve management of public service.  The commitment also looks to raise awareness for users and health officers on the importance of ethics and legal compliance. Finally, this commitment aims to create a complaint mechanism for users to submit pleas to denounce corruption practices in the health sector.
This commitment is relevant to the OGP value of public accountability. The government will create opportunities to hold officials answerable for their actions. According to Sidi Barry, citizen committees will raise awareness about ethics codes among public servants.  Chrysogone Zougmoré (REN-LAC) believes citizen committees will denounce corruption cases and follow up on the number of complaints.  . This commitment is also relevant to the OGP value of access to information as it will inform citizens about the new legal framework, and also relevant to the OGP value of civic participation as it will receive citizen complaints.
The government will conduct special workshops to raise awareness among public officials on ethics in the health sector. The government will also be accountable to their citizens through the establishment of the complaint mechanism. The commitment is relevant to the OGP value of civic participation. According to responses provided by Sidi Barry, oversight committees will be made up of citizens who will instruct citizens on their rights and duties for accessing health services.  This commitment is also relevant to the OGP value of access to information in that this commitment will inform citizens about the new legal framework.
As written in the action plan, the objectives, results, and activities are clear and specific enough to be objectively verified. Verifiability can be checked using the number of racketeering cases, the number of workshops on the legal rights and duties for users and health workers, and the establishment of a citizen oversight committee and the complaint-processing mechanism.
The commitment is helpful but will not fully address health-sector corruption if implemented as written. Therefore, the potential impact of this commitment is graded as minor. While the government claims that the oversight committees will facilitate the submission of complaints, help improve public services through citizen input, and raise awareness campaigns for users on their rights and duties,  the effective treatment of racketeering complaints in the health sector by justice authorities remains an issue to be solved. It does not address the causes and opportunities of corruption in the health sector, for instance, by reducing queue lines.  This may, therefore, limit the scope of this commitment.
According to the President of the Burkinabe Movement for Human and Peoples Rights, there is a perception of low engagement by the administration to fight against corruption. Proof of this low engagement includes the weak sanctions (or no sanction at all) which may indicate a degree of complicity or even willingness to protect agents.  This conclusion is supported by REN-LAC’s call on the administration to sanction officials guilty of funds diversion  and a representative of the Union for Workers on Human and Animal Health confirms that according to their field experience, those who are corrupt are those who get promoted. 
The commitment also fails to address a number of current difficulties in the health sector: insufficient budgets to monitor and follow up on recommendations from oversight mechanisms; limited professional training of health inspectors; weak enforcement of relevant decrees; and ineffective anti-corruption decrees.  Based on these findings, this commitment is coded as having a minor potential impact.
- This commitment could be continued in future action plans, particularly those activities related to the scope and effectiveness of the citizen oversight committee.
- Enforce accountability by judicial and administrative institutions who investigate and prosecute racketeering.
- Address sources of corruption in the health sector not fully captured in the current action plan.
- Follow up on the impact of trainings and awareness campaigns of both users and civil servants; determine their attitude toward health sector racketeering.
- Use metrics for assessing progress in the quality of service in the health sector.