The Office of the Director of Public Officers’ Declarations and the Financial Intelligence Authority (FIA) have agreed to share information crucial to their operations, including curbing financial crimes.
The two State agencies yesterday formally signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in Lilongwe which will guide how they can tap into each other’s databases and access information to reduce duplication of activities.
For instance, if the assets directorate seeks to verify declarations by listed public officers, it can simply contact the FIA, which now has investigative powers, and access relevant information without visiting institutions like banks.
Assets director Christopher Tukula said verification of assets is a multi-dimensional activity that can be achieved through partnerships with other institutions like the FIA, Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) and the Malawi Police Service (MPS).
“There might be information that has not been included in the declarations which is very relevant. It is incumbent upon us to access that information from the FIA which has been there longer than us. We would also like to learn from them in terms of how the financial sector operates,” he said.
FIA director general Atuweni Juwayeyi-Agbermodji said the agreement with the assets directorate will enrich her institution’s intelligence in investigating financial issues and identifying illicit proceeds which can be frozen and confiscated.
She said: “We are also working with several other State institutions so that we can review our agreements with them because now the nature of our work has changed. Unlike in the past, we now have investigative powers and it is also important that we renew our agreements with institutions like the Reserve Bank of Malawi [RBM], MRA and [Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB)].” n