Cause for concern

CIPA Fund’s beneficiaries diverting funds from funded projects

Companies and Intellectual Property Authority (CIPA) has been struggling with non-compliance by beneficiaries of the Levy on Technical Devices Fund (LTDF).

To mitigate the predicament that has been plaguing the association, CIPA has since launched the Handbook of policies for the Administration of LTDF.

Launched on Friday last week, the handbook will guide fund administrators and beneficiaries on how funds are allocated and what they are to be used for, which translates to the administration monitoring of the grants once they have been allocated to beneficiaries.

Speaking at the launch held at Avani Hotel Conference Hall in Gaborone, Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry Acting Deputy Permanent Secretary, Seipati Olweny said the handbook was borne from the LTDF Committee’s trials and errors since the fund was set up in 2008 following a Government implementation of the 2000 Copyright and Neighboring Rights Act.

“It is regrettable that one of the persistent challenges faced in project administration is non-compliance to the Memorandum of Agreement between CIPA and the beneficiaries,” said Olweny before adding that some beneficiaries deviate funds from intended projects to their own personal agendas without authorization while others fail to fully account for their expenditure.

Olweny continued that the handbook contains a policy that empowers CIPA to deal with non-compliant entities through the suspension and blacklisting of the fund beneficiaries.

She stated that the handbook also states the conduct expected of Committee members as the administrators of the fund.

Giving his remarks at the launch, CIPA Registrar General, Conductor Masena noted that the enactment of the Copyright and Neighbouring Rights Acts by the Government demonstrates the role that creativity plays in the socio-economic and cultural lives of Batswana.

“The inclusion of the LTDF in the law and the way it is provided contributes to the availability of resources towards the development of this sector,” he said.

Masena also noted that it is, therefore, CIPA’s commitment to ensuring the fund is administered effectively, and efficiently for the benefit of both owners of creative works and the country.

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