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A nine-month performance report from the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission reveals land-related services, government procurement procedures, and humanitarian food distribution operations have become the most prone to corrupt activity.

Officials at the Rapid Corruption Prevention department under the Commission say a series of federal assessments across nine regional states and two city administrations, excluding Afar, Tigray, and South Ethiopia, managed to prevent corruption schemes that could have cost taxpayers close to 700 million birr.

Much of the total is attributed to corruption in government procurement departments, which are accused of manipulating bid specifications to benefit specific groups and not following procurement procedures.

Land-related services are next in the lineup for areas most prone to corruption in several regions and in Addis Ababa and Dire Dawa.

“Our assessments show that urban land lease corruption issues make up the majority of the cases, especially operations in the way of breaching the Urban Lands Lease Holding Proclamation,” Gezahegn Gashaw, head of the Department, told The Reporter.

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He mentioned abuse of power and schemes to transfer plots of lands illegally, such as a recent one in the Harari Regional State involving a government housing unit valued at half a million birr.

The Department notes an uptick in fraudulent education credentials in Harari, and tax-related corruption in the Somali region. Officials in Sidama report the interception of a corruption scheme involving 170 quintals of maize and other food aid.

The Anti-Corruption Commission report on Friday did not include progress updates on the other corruption cases on its docket. Last year, the Prime Minister established a national anti-corruption committee to crack down on grand government corruption schemes. Regional and city administrations had subsequently established similar committees, but nothing has come of them as of yet.

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