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‘We all pay the price for bid rigging’

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The Consumers parade during the commemoration of 2017 World Competition Day

The Chairperson of the Competition and Fair Trading Commission, Commissioner Daniel Dunga has appealed to consumers in the country to report any traders or suppliers engaged in bid rigging.

Speaking during the 2017 World Competition Day which was celebrated on 5th December in Blantyre themed Fighting Bid Rigging to Grow Economy, Dunga said   bid rigging is a form of fraud which undermines the bidding process and is illegal under the Competition and Fair Trading Act. Through this conduct, he said, consumers pay the price for bid rigging.

“Bid rigging can take many forms, but one frequent form is when competitors agree in advance which firm will win the bid. For instance, competitors may agree to take turns being the low bidder, or sit out of a bidding round, or provide unacceptable bids to cover up a bid-rigging scheme. Other bid-rigging agreements involve subcontracting part of the main contract to the losing bidders, or forming a joint venture to submit a single bid.Bid rigging stifles free-market competition, as the rigged price will be unfairly high,” said Dunga.

He added that the typical objective of bid rigging is to enable the winning party to obtain contracts at uncompetitive prices, higher prices if they are suppliers or lower prices if they are buyers.

Principal Secretary for Industry, Trade and Tourism, Dr Ken Ndala, speaking during the celebrations, called upon the general public to play an active role in detecting and reporting bid-rigging practices.

“Bid-rigging is a reality in our economy and has led to loss of huge sums of money by companies and government. Right from the procurement of stationery worth a few thousand kwachas to the construction of multi-billion Kwacha roads and buildings, the government and institutions have lost funds unjustifiably through collusive tendering tendencies of unscrupulous traders,” said Ndala.

Ahead of the celebrations which included a consumers parade, traditional dances and songs, the Commission visited several districts across the country sensitizing procurement officers from government departments and agencies on how to detect and deal with bid rigging.

Speech by the Guest of Honour Henry Mussa

Speech by CFTC Board Chair Daniel Dunga

CFTC launches corruption prevention policy

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Mussa shakes CFTC Executive Director Charlotte Wezi Malonda as Mataya looks on (R)

The Competition and Fair Trading Commission (CFTC) launched a corruption prevention policy on 17 November 2017 in Lilongwe. This is a  clear indication of the Commission’s commitment to support the fight against fraud, bribery and corruption in the country.

Speaking during the launch of the policy, Minister of Industry Trade and Tourism Hon Henry Mussa said the development is part of a wider programme that the government has put in place to eliminate corruption in the public sector.

“I am delighted to note that the Policy embraces principles and spells out strategies that will deter its officers from engaging in any form of corruption. The Policy also outlines various channels through which the traders, consumers and other stakeholders can report any corrupt activities that they suspect or have detected. I therefore sincerely commend CFTC for a job well done,” said Mussa.

He added that the development of the policy is consistent with the values that His Excellency Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika is championing in this country namely patriotism, integrity and hardwork.

Speaking during the launch, Commissioner Joyce Mataya said the development of the anti-corruption policy involved staff and a cross section of other stakeholders.

“It is an important tool in harnessing the core values of the Commission which include transparency, accountability, efficiency, integrity and team work. This Policy, therefore, provides comprehensive series of interventions that I am sure will go a long way in preventing and combating fraud and corruption as the Commission soldiers on to execute its mandate in the country,” said Mataya.

According to the document, the Policy shall guide the Commission in the way it will conduct itself and in the decision it makes regarding issues of fraud and corruption.  It will also encourage the ongoing development of a culture espousing the highest ethical and professional standards and encourage all staff to be vigilant in ensuring that these standards are met. If members of the public suspect fraud or corruption by CFTC officers, they are encouraged to write to the CFTC Institutional Integrity Committee, which works hand in hand with the ACB to ensure that corruption is eliminated in service delivery by organisations. 

In recognition of the Commission's initiatives of fighting corruption at the workplace, in 2014, the Anti-Corruption Bureau named CFTC as one of the top three transparent organisations in Malawi.

Speech by the Guest of Honour Henry Mussa

Speech by CFTC Board Chair Daniel Dunga

CFTC awarded for outstanding public service delivery

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CFTC management hold the trophy

For the second year running, the Competition and Fair Trading Commission (CFTC) has been awarded for outstanding performance in service delivery.

In the assessment conducted by independent evaluators, the Commission was named as the best performing parastatal in public service delivery in the 2016/17 financial year during an event held at Bingu International Conference Centre, Lilongwe on 20th December 2017.

Speaking during the ceremony, Minister of Finance and Economic development, Goodall Gondwe encouraged all public institutions to be accountable to the general public.

“The country will be successful depending on what the public service determines to be. There are some good public servants but there are some who are not concerned. It’s like any other profession. There are some who are good and others who are not,” said Gondwe.

The evaluation follows the Government embracing performance contracts with public institutions including Ministries, Departments and Agencies to improve public service delivery.

Speaking during the ceremony EU ambassador to Malawi Marchel Gerrmann commended the Malawi Government for institutional performance assessment framework.

Awards III“The performance contracts that various Ministries and Departments have signed with the President, Prof. Arthur Peter Mutharika form an important part of the Public-Sector Reform Program launched in 2015. They are important for two reasons: first of all Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies should be measured against agreed targets; and second - they should be held accountable for their performance,” said Gerrmann.

Speaking after accepting the award, CFTC Executive Director, Charlotte Wezi Malonda attributed the Commission’s performance to team work.

Malonda receives the trophy as Gondwe (Right) looks on.

“It is because of strong team work and the motivation that the CFTC staff has which ensures that we perform well in service delivery. We strive to integrate cross cutting issues in our work, and focus our energy on work that has high impact ” said Malonda.

The Independent Evaluation Team was headed by Dr Rhoda Bakuwa of the Malawi Polytechnic. Other members of the Evaluation team included Prof Lewis Dzimbiri, Mr Patrick Kachimera and Mr Alex Gomani among other eminent professionals.

The recent award is sixth that the Commission has received since establishment a few years ago. Last year, the Commission was awarded for good performance in public service delivery while in 2014, in recognition of the Commission's initiatives of fighting corruption at the workplace, the Anti-Corruption Bureau named CFTC as one of the top three most transparent organisations in Malawi.

The World Bank Group, in conjunction with the International Competition Network, for two consecutive years, in 2015 and 2016, awarded the CFTC for its innovative advocacy strategies in the promotion of competition in emerging markets. Finally, the Commission was named by the Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (MCCCI) as the Best Service Provider during the 2015 Malawi International Trade Fair.

CALL FOR APPLICATIONS FOR INTERNSHIP AT THE COMPETITION AND FAIR TRADING COMMISSION

1.0 Introduction

   1.1  The Competition and Fair Trading Commission was established under the Competition and Fair Trading Act (Cap 48:09 of the Laws of Malawi) with mandate to regulate, monitor, control and prevent acts or behaviour which are likely to adversely affect competition and fair trading in any market in Malawi;

   1.2   The Commission is in the process of reviewing its advocacy and communication programmes which is key to achieving the objectives set in its 5 year strategic plan (2015-2020). As part of this review, the CFTC seeks to conduct a Knowledge, Attitudes and Perceptions (KAP) survey on the enforcement of competition and fair trading laws in Malawi;

   1.3   The Commission is, therefore, seeking services of Research Assistants/Interns to conduct the KAP survey. The main responsibility for the Interns will be collecting relevant stakeholder views, analyse the data and assist in report writing on the survey findings. The Internship is open to recent graduates or continuing students from any of the accredited institutions. 

2.0   Eligibility Criteria

   2.1   The Research Assistants /Interns to undertake this assignment should have the following attributes;

  1. Should be recent graduates or continuing students from any of the accredited universities in the area of Economics, Business Administration, Commerce, Mass Communication and related subjects
  2. Should have relevant experience in conducting research for a reputable institution, consulting firm or individual consultants;
  3. Should be equipped with relevant knowledge in usage of data analysis packages like Excel, SPSS, Stata, etc;
  4. Should be fluent in English and Chichewa languages. Knowledge of other local languages is an added advantage;

  3.0   How to Apply

   3.1   Interested applicants are requested to submit their CV and application letters clearly marked “Application for Internship” to the following address:  

The Executive Director

Competition and Fair Trading Commission

1st Floor Mpikisano House

Private Bag 332

Lilongwe 3

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

   3.2   For more information about the work of the Competition and Fair Trading Commission, visit www.cftc.mw

Applications must be submitted by Friday 5th January 2018.

Malawi hosts a mergers workshop

African competition Forum

CFTC Economist, Dalitso Chimota receives her certificate from COMESA Competition Commission CEO, Dr George Lipimile as Katungwe looks on


Malawi hosted a capacity building workshop on merger review and analysis at Crossroads Hotel in Lilongwe from 19th to 21st September, 2017. Apart from Malawi, other countries that participated in the workshop included South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Gambia, Mauritius and Egypt.

 

Taking advantage of the opportunity, six officers from the Competition and Fair Trading Commission (CFTC) participated in the workshop which was organized by the African Competition Forum (ACF) in conjunction with the COMESA Competition Commission.

 

The workshop whose objective was to develop case handler’s practical and substantive skills for merger review and analysis was facilitated by competition law experts from United States Federal Trade Commission, the COMESA Competition Commission, the Competition Commission of South Africa, the Competition Commission of Mauritius, the Competition Authority of Kenya and the Gambia Competition and Consumer Protection Commission.

Specifically, the workshop emphasized on the use of economic and analytical tools when conducting merger analysis. It also discussed ICNRecommended Practices for merger analysis, competitive effects in merger cases, and market definition in merger investigations.

Commenting on the workshop, CFTC Senior Economist for Mergers and Acquisitions, Fexter Katungwe said was worthwhile for CFTC to participate in the workshop.

“The workshop strengthened our investigative capacity in dealing with merger transactions as provided for under the Competition and Fair Trading Act. The hosting of this workshop by this country accorded the CFTC a big opportunity to have all its frontline investigators oriented to best practices in merger analysis,” said Katungwe.

Since its inception in 2013, the CFTC has taken several bold steps to build the capacity of its staff for the Commission to attain high echelons of professionalism. Investigators and other staff have been exposed to training opportunities within the country and in other countries such as United States of America, United Kingdom, South Africa, India, Belgium, Singapore, Switzerland, Seychelles, Zambia, Tanzania and Seychelles, among others.

The Commission also collaborates with international competition authorities such as the African Competition Forum, SADC Committee on Competition and Consumer Protection Law and Policy, International Competition Network (ICN) and European Competition Commission to strengthen its capacity in handling various competition issues. This is done within the framework of the CFTC Strategic Plan.

RBM, CFTC partner to protect financial services consumers

SFIIKulisewa makes a point during the surgeries

The Reserve Bank of Malawi and the Competition and Fair Trading Commission (CFTC) have partnered to protect consumers in the financial sector.

 

The two regulators have so far jointly conducted financial sector surgeries in Lilongwe, Mzuzu and Blantyre to sensitise players in the financial sector including commercial banks, insurance companies and micro financial institutions about their duties towards consumers. The surgeries were conducted from 25-29 September 2017.

 

Opening surgeries in Lilongwe, RBM chief examiner, Madalitso Chamba, underscored the importance of consumer protection in the sector.

 

“The principle of treating consumers fairly, means that financial institutions must pay due regard to the interests of the customers and not engage in unfair business practices,” said Chamba encouraging the  institutions to be transparent and fully disclose all the risks as well as rewards of their products.

 

Making his presentation, CFTC Director of Consumer Welfare and Education, Lewis Kulisewa said it is mandatory for financial service providers to provide consumers with true, adequate, clear and prompt information on the goods and services offered.

 

"Unfair contract terms, misrepresentation of financial services and deceptive advertising were common infringements of consumer protection laws in the financial sector. The Commission will impose fines and other relevant orders, in accordance with the law, to any financial service provider found causing consumer harm", said Kulisewa.

 

SFIHe then appealed to participants to embrace the culture of voluntarily complying with consumer protection laws at all times as good corporate citizens.In August 2014, the CFTC signed a cooperation agreement with the Governor of the Reserve Bank of Malawi and Registrar of Financial Institutions aimed at addressing potential overlaps between the functions of the three regulators.

 

A cross section of the particpants in Blantyre

The Commission has general powers to foster competition and fair trading under the CFTA while the RBM has specific powers in relation to the promotion of a sound financial structure and fostering highest standard of conduct, fair trading, efficiency and orderliness in the financial sector including payment systems.

PRESS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 6 SEPTEMBER 2017
 
SEVEN COMPANIES FINED FOR UNFAIR TRADING PRACTICES 
  
The Board of Commissioners of the Competition and Fair Trading Commission (hereinafter referred to as ''The Commission") held its 49th Meeting in Lilongwe on 31st August 2017 to consider and adjudicate over cases relating to unfair trading practices, and anti-competitive business conducts. These cases were brought before the Commission in accordance with Section 8 of the Competition and Fair Trading Act.
 
In total, the Commission considered and adjudicated over twenty-six (26) cases of which twenty (20) were on unfair trading practices while the rest were on anti-competitive trade practices.
 

Read more...

CFTC CONDUCTS LECTURE AT MALAWI ASSEMBLIES OF GOD UNIVERSITY

 

MAGU 1Chiputula making a presentation

The Competition and Fair Trading Commission (CFTC), on Friday 12th May, 2017, conducted a Competition Law Lecture at Malawi Assemblies of God University in Lilongwe which was attended by about 80 students doing various programmes at the university.

In his opening remarks, Business Management Senior Lecturer, Kondwani Manda welcomed the Commission for taking an initiative to conduct a Competition Law lecture at their University.

“Let me thank the Commission for coming to the university to conduct the lecture. We believe that after the lecture we will understand more about completion and consumer protection law in Malawi,” said Manda.

During the lecture CFTC Director of Mergers and Acquisitions, Richard Chiputula  made a presentation on the background of competition law policy in Malawi, the legislative framework of CFTC, appointment of commissioners and composition, establishment of secretariat, regulatory role of the Commission, investigative function, adjudicative role of commissioners, core functions of the Commission and penalties.

Speaking during the lecture Chiputula said the purpose of the lecture was to disseminate information to consumers so that they are empowered.

After the presentation, students asked on various issues. Some of the questions included on merger assessment,  and proliferation of counterfeits.

In his closing remarks, CFTC Director of Consumer Welfare and Education, Lewis Kulisewa thanked the management of university for granting Commission the opportunity to conduct a Competition Law Lecture at their University and the students for their active participation.MAGU2Kulisewa emphasises a point as Chiputula looks on

Speaking after the Lecture, Manda appreciated the lecture conducted by CFTC. He alluded to how important being an empowered consumer is as he shared his experience.

This was the 11th lecture in a series of lectures to public and private Universities.The lecture series is in recognition of the fact that university students command a lot of influence within their communities as a reservoir of knowledge and would be instrumental in influencing certain trends and conducts in this dynamic field.

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