ACC COMMISSIONER ADY MACAULEY SIGNS MoU WITH DFID
The Commissioner of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Ady Macauley Esq. on Tuesday 19th April 2016 signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, through the Department for International Development (DfID) and the Government of Sierra Leone through the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) for non budget support financial aid to the Pay No Bribe (PNB) Campaign.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, at 3 Gloucester Street, Freetown, the Commissioner underscored that the Pay No Bribe campaign is timely, noting, petty corruption and bribery are at the fore of the day-to-day public discourse. Mr. Macauley expressed his commitment and Management to the implementation of the issues contained in the MoU. He emphasized that the PNB project is not investigation focus, but provides for the isolation of corruption hotspots that would precipitate the intervention of the ACC.
Earlier, the Deputy Commissioner Shollay Davies who presented the MoU to the Commissioner for signature, catalogued the processes the MoU has undergone. He stated that the PNB project is a response to the many questions that had been asked on petty corruption and bribery in relation to accessing essential social services. The project is also a sequel of the 2013 Corruption Perception Barometer Report which indicated that 84% of respondents acknowledged to have paid a bribe or were asked to pay bribe prior to the provision of social services, Mr. Davies furthered. He however, noted that the figures of respondents who paid or were asked to pay bribe reduced by over 50% in the recent survey of 2015.
The Deputy Commissioner, maintained that the project will be implemented by a multiplicity of players, notably; the ACC, DFID, MCCU, Coffey International, CSOs, MDAs, and the Office of the Chief of Staff. ACC will host the call centre, where as MDAs would have to address issues of the PNB through their Integrity Management Committees (IMCs), he stressed.
Mr. Davies further disclosed that the project is for a three-year period, piloted in five (5) MDAs, namely; the Sierra Leone Police (SLP), Ministry of Energy-Electricity, Distribution and Supply Authority (EDSA), Ministry of Water Resources-Guma Valley and SALWACO; and the Ministries of Education and Health, and four (4) districts; Western Area, Bo, Bombali (Makeni), and Kenema Districts. But the project will be rolled out to other districts and public sector institutions, Mr. Davies concluded.
The Memorandum of Understanding provides for a Grant to the ACC that will increase both petty and grand corruption prosecutions and enforcement of public standards.
ACC ARMS THE ARMED FORCES
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) on Monday 9th June 2014 empowered junior officers of the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF) in the fight against corruption at the Horton Academy, IMATT. The Horton Academy administers courses for security personnel in Sierra Leone, Liberia, Senegal and few other countries in the sub-region. Presently, the Junior Staff Course which commenced on April 7 2014, for military personnel, police officers, prison officers and staff from the Office of National Security (ONS), is currently underway at the Academy and will end on July 25 2014.
The course package integrates topics that require specialist presentations. One of the topics is about the ‘Fight against corruption in Sierra Leone’. Delivering a paper on behalf of the ACC, the Deputy Director of Systems and Processes Review Department, Barbar Rashid Turay, explained what corruption is and he also took them through some of the causes of corruption in Sierra Leone. ‘Although corruption is a universal phenomenon, its causes may vary from country to country’, Rashid Turay said.
According to him, endemic corruption in Sierra Leone cannot be divorced from pre-colonial encounter as well as the era of military rule in Sierra Leone and other political dispensations. The economic and social causes are in most part a chunk of the network of the previous causes mentioned, he opined.
Corruption all over the world has negative effects, the Deputy Director affirmed. Among them, he noted, that it has the propensity to undermine national development. Whilst talking about the fight against corruption in a broader perspective, the Deputy Director also threw light on its causes in the area of defense. In a further attempt to explain what constitutes corruption, Rashid Turay briefly took the participants through the twenty seven corrupt offences in the Anti-Corruption Act of 2008. The fight against corruption is not the Commission’s standalone fight, he reaffirmed.
He also highlighted the role of defense personnel in the fight against corruption and state security. He reminded them that the state comes first and everybody’s actions should be in consonant with state interest. He encouraged students of the Academy to always be patriotic and that they should extend their patriotism to reporting corruption at the Anti-Corruption Commission. He assured them that the fight against corruption is a winnable one. In other to achieve that, he cheered them to a change of bad behaviours, negative opinions, attitudes and negative thoughts as well.
A Liberian military officer asked whether corruption can be eradicated in its entirety. In his response, Rashid Turay said though it is a colossal task to completely get rid of corruption, he added that he is convinced the fight against corruption could be a winnable one. Whilst concluding, the Deputy Director of Systems and Processes Review Department of the Anti-Corruption Commission encouraged the students to be steadfast and positive in the fight against corruption.
ACC AND MMCET VOUCH TO FIGHT CORRUPTION
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has recently engaged over eight hundred students and lecturers of the Milton Margai College of Education and Technology (MMCET), Congo Cross Campus as part of its “Meet the University Campaign”. Addressing the gathering, Public Education Officer, ACC, Joseph Kangaju said the role of students in the fight against corruption is not a favour but a moral duty and responsibility towards national development.
Mr. Kangaju stated that like malaria, corruption fights back. He described most Sierra Leoneans as innocently living with malaria parasite (like corruption which has been accepted like a culture). He informed them about the importance of whistle blowing and that it is a civic and moral responsibility of all students. Stressing that anonymous reporting is permitted in the Commission.
David Conteh, Public Education Officer reiterated the importance of partnering with the ACC to fight corruption. He attributed corruption to selfishness and greed. He encouraged them to live a corrupt free life, which he emphasised will benefit their community and the country as a whole.
The Students Union Governor of the MMCET appreciated the timely visit of the Anti – Corruption Commission which he described to have spurred up keen concern in students as they vouch to join in the fight against corruption in Sierra Leone.
Cross Section of Students of MMCET Congo Cross
Public Education Officer, Joseph Kangaju addressing students and lecturers of MMCET
ACC DEVELOPS MOBILE PHONE APP TO REPORT CORRUPTION
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has developed an application (app) to make reporting of corruption much easier and quicker.
The Director of Public Education and Outreach Department, ACC, described the app as one way to make people feel more comfortable to report acts of corruption to the Commission.
Koloneh Sankoh said as the use of mobile applications has been widespread therefore is the Commission making use of the technology to strengthen the fight against corruption. She said the app is an additional tool for reporting corruption and can be used by whistleblowers, informants and complainants who may want to remain anonymous. Ms. Sankoh said the Commission will popularize the use of the app to the general public so that people will be aware and be able to report incidents of corruption at their convenience.
Titus Salankole, the Information Technology Manager at the ACC said the application is part of the ‘SIERRA LEONE APP’ on Google Play and users of smart phones can now download it using their Google account free of cost. He said the ‘SIERRA LEONE ANTI-CORRUPTION COMMISSION APP’ (i.e. the ACC app) can be found on the top right hand corner of the ‘SIERRA LEONE APP’. He said there are provisions for users to easily type their reports or messages and even attach photo and audio files before submission.
In recent times, the ACC Commissioner, Joseph Fitzgerald Kamara spoke of the app as one of the initiatives of the Commission to bring more people on board the fight against corruption. Mr. Kamara has often spoken of the need to come up with more initiatives so that the country will continue to score more marks in the fight against graft.
Staff of the Public Education and Outreach Department of the ACC have already been training on the use of the technology.
The Sierra Leone App
ACC MEETS WITH TOP MANAGEMENT OF THE SIERRA LEONE POLICE
As part of its ongoing strategic partnership drive in the fight against corruption, the ACC has on the 29th of February, 2012 held its first strategic partnership meeting with Senior Management Staff of the Sierra Leone Police at the Commission’s Conference Room in Freetown. The meeting is to strengthen their partnership and to map out strategies in dealing with the incidence of corruption in the country generally and more particularly with the Police.
SIERRA LEONE POLICE FORCE TOP MANAGEMENT
Speaking at the meeting, the Commissioner of the ACC, Mr. Joseph F. Kamara said that it is becoming far more important for the public to understand that the Police and the ACC are working together as a team in the enforcement of the law. The Commissioner cited the support of the top-management of the Police in terms of meeting the mandate of the Commission and took the opportunity to update the Police about the outcomes of the 2010 National Perception Survey which ranked the Police as one of the most corrupt institutions in the country. He mentioned the attitude of some Traffic Police and Wardens in soliciting bribes as worrying. The ACC Commissioner therefore called on Senior Management of the Sierra Leone Police to implement the recommendations contained in the National Anti-Corruption Strategy and to work towards improving the public perception about their institution, stating that “the ACC will not be able to fight corruption without the credibility of the Police standing out”.
Responding, the Deputy Inspector General of Police, Mr. Richard Moigbeh, expressed delight for the engagement noting that since the inception of the ACC, the SLP has been a key strategic partner. He acceded to the comments made by the ACC Commissioner and catalogued the many efforts of the Police to deal with corruption, stating that over 100 police personnel have been dismissed on corruption related matters since last year. He called on the ACC to provide further assistance to deal with the scourge. Other members of the team commented on the challenges faced by the Police including logistical constraints and poor conditions of service.
A number of recommendations were made including the setting up of a Working Committee and the appointment of a Liaison Officer in both institutions to address the challenges faced by the Police in dealing with corruption.
COMMISSIONER’S REGIONAL WORKING VISIT TO MAKENI,
BO AND KENEMA -25TH – 30TH SEPTEMBER, 2014
DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SHOLLAY DAVIES JUSTIFIES ACC 2015 BUDGET
The Deputy Commissioner of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Shollay Davies on Monday 13th October, 2014 justified the 2015 budget of the Commission in a jammed-packed Hall at the Ministry of Finance, and Economic Development (MoFED). He maintained that, the fight against corruption continues unabated and ACC continues to tighten its grip on wastages in the delivery of services in the public sector while at the same time promoting transparency and accountability across public sector institutions.
Mr. Davies opined that a research conducted by the Word Bank in 2010 on Control of Corruption has shown that support to anti-corruption agencies have had increased dividend in their effectiveness to deliver on their mandate.
Since the passage of the Anti-Corruption Act in 2008, the ACC has been able to recover and pay into the consolidated revenue fund over 12 Billion Leones. The success rate in court has doubled since last year and the level of awareness on corruption continues to increase, he emphasized.
In 2015 the Commission envisages an increase in the level of activities especially on investigations and prosecution of corruption related matters. This would require investment in capacity development and staff welfare in order to attract and retain more professionals.
In line with the Commission’s Strategic Plan and the Agenda for Prosperity, the ACC will deepen the recovery of government resources, address wastage in local government and take advantage of sector specific initiatives in the extractive industry such as the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiatives (EITI). This would mean that additional system reviews will be conducted to prevent corruption in the extractive sector and other MDAs.
The Deputy Commissioner noted that as a means of promoting a corrupt free society in which good governance, effective and efficient public financial management, integrity, accountability and the rule of law are upheld, the National Anti-Corruption Strategy will be rolled out with renewed vigor and with a view to mobilizing sustained public support for the ideals of anti-corruption campaign.
ACC OBSERVES INTERNATIONAL ANTI-CORRUPTION (IAC) DAY WITH THANKSGIVING PRAYERS
The Anti–Corruption Commission (ACC) in commemoration of this year’s International Anti–Corruption (IAC) Day offered thanksgiving prayers at the Hamdallah Mosque, Naimbana Street and the Ebenezer Methodist Church Regent Road on 5th and 7th December respectively.
Speaking at the Hamdallah Mosque, Chief Imam, Sheikh Abubakarr Conteh underscored corruption is evil and cajoled his jamaat to deviate from all corrupt practices and join the Commission to eliminate the bane. Sheikh Conteh observed that ACC has done tremendous work to reduce on the incidences of corruption but noted there were still challenges in the fight such as the glorification and celebration of the corrupt by some sections of the public.
In his sermon, the Circuit Superintendent of Ebenezer Methodist Church, Reverend Elijah Akibo-Jones urged ACC staff to be courageous as not all would be in support of the fight. “There are people who will go after you because you are doing what is right, but if you hold on to God, they will never succeed to destroy you”, he stressed. Reverend Akibo – Jones encouraged the congregation to always frown at corruption and shun the corrupt. The man of God emphasized that corruption needed to be dealt with so that Sierra Leone will forge ahead.
The ACC Deputy Commissioner Shollay Davies in his statement at the mosque and church thanked the Almighty for his continued guidance over the institution and its staff. He furthered that International Anti-Corruption Day is important, as it is meant to raise awareness on the ills of corruption and highlight the strides made to prevent and combat the pandemic. Mr. Davies maintained that the fight against corruption was the business of all as its negative consequences are wide-ranging. The Deputy Commissioner implored the jamaat and congregation to be steadfast in supporting the ACC so that the scourge will be eradicated in the country.
DEPUTY COMMISSIONER, SHOLLAY DAVIES DELIVERING ANTI-CORRUPTION MESSAGES TO MUSLIM WORSHIPPERS AT HAMDALLAH MOSQUE IN COMMEMORATION OF THE INTERNATIONAL ANTI-CORRUPTION DAY 2014
Deputy Commissioner, Mr. Shollay Davies at Ebenezer Methodist Church with Directors and Staff of the Anti-Corruption Commission to commemorate IAC Day 2014
The commemoration was also marked with a statement to the nation by the ACC Commissioner, Joseph Fitzgerald Kamara and a radio quiz completion for secondary school pupils.
ACC SIGNS MOU WITH EVERY CHILD MATTERS
In a bid to continue strengthening its partnership with civil society organisations, the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) on Thursday 20th November 2014 signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the child advocacy organisation, Every Child Matters Sierra Leone (ECM-SL). Welcoming members of the organisation at the ACC’s Gloucester Street Head Office in Freetown, the Director Public Education and Outreach, Koloneh Sankoh said corruption tramples upon the rights of everyone, especially the vulnerable. She said it is good that the organisation is partnering with the ACC to address issues of corruption, especially those affecting the wellbeing of children.
The Executive Director of ECM-SL, Abdul Karim Koroma said his organisation was formed in 2004 to promote the rights of children, youths and women and foster the values of transparency and accountability in the country. He said the organisation has been moved by the work of the ACC, which has been very effective in combating corruption in order to enhance the wellbeing of the citizenry. Mr. Koroma said they would assist the ACC with its public education drive by educating young people to change their mindsets and imbibe a life and culture of integrity.
Cross section of the audience at the signing ceremony of Memorandum of Understanding between Anti-Corruption and Every Child Matter- Sierra Leone
The Deputy Commissioner of the ACC, Shollay Davies, said the ACC takes the plight of children very seriously, which is why the Commission has been working-through its ‘Meet the School Campaign’ to enlist school pupils in the fight against corruption and to develop corrupt-free minds. He said “to advocate for the rights of children is to advocate for a brighter future for the nation”. Mr. Davies said the ACC believes in the objectives of ECM-SL, something he said is the major driving force to form a partnership with the organisation. The Deputy Commissioner encouraged ECM-SL to be reporting acts of corruption to the Commission as they go about implementing their programmes.
The MOU calls for the development of a “synergy of cooperation and partnership between the Public Education and Outreach and the Monitoring and Evaluation Departments of ACC and ECM-SL respectively; and share common platform on public education, customized community and town hall meetings.”
The signing of the MOU by the Deputy Commissioner on behalf of the ACC and the Executive Director of ECM-SL on behalf of his organisation climaxed the event.
R-Deputy Commissioner ACC, Mr. Shollay Davies and L-Mr. Abdul Karim Koroma Executive Director ECM displaying the signed MoU.
THE ACC COMMISSIONER, JOSEPH FITZGERALD KAMARA, ON FRIDAY, 28TH NOVEMBER 2014, HONORED AN INVITATION FROM THE MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION TO A CONFERENCE WITH THE DIPLOMATIC CORP ON THE EBOLA EPIDEMIC
Prior to the group photo above, the presence of the ACC Commissioner (fourth, second row from left) illuminates the Conference of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Diplomatic Corp on the ultimate fight against Ebola at the aforementioned Ministry, Tower Hill Freetown
Meanwhile, at the end of the Conference, the Cuban PlenipoteMinistry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, unveiled its Service Charter not just in the presence of each and every Diplomatic Mission in Sierra Leone, but in the presence of the honcho of the Anti-Corruption Commission, standing behind the newly appointed ntiary
The unveiled Service Charter
The Honorable Minister of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Dr. Samura Kamara and his Deputy Dr. Ebun Strasser King flanked the Commissioner
The glowing smiles of Madam Deputy Minister and the Anti-Corruption Maestro symbolize a sense of fulfillment after the unveiling ceremony of the Service Charter
The Service Charter is erected at the mini orchard of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation
ACC and NEC are dividends of good governance - ACC Commissioner
The Commissioner of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has described his institution and the National Electoral Commission (NEC) as dividends of democratic good governance in the country. Joseph Fitzgerald Kamara made the statement Wednesday during a courtesy call made by the Chairman of NEC and his team. Welcoming the NEC top management team at the ACC Head Office in Freetown, Mr. Kamara congratulated the NEC Chairman on his appointment.
The Chairman of the NEC Mohamed Nfa-Alie Conteh said the courtesy call is a bid to identify his institution with those that share similar functions in terms of providing good governance, public trust and accountability. He said a close relationship with the ACC would ensure transparency and accountability as his institution often handles huge public funds in the conduct of public elections. Mr. Conteh said his Commission believed in the fight against corruption in the country, which is why they have made the Integrity Management Committee in their institution fully operational.
The NEC Chairman stated that the next three years would be challenging as they plan for the conduct of several election exercises including boundary delimitation, upgrade of the voter register, conduct of local council elections, the constitutional review referendum and the 2018 presidential and parliamentary elections. Mr. Conteh therefore called on the ACC to render the necessary support to his Commission.
The NEC Commissioner for the Northern Region, Maxoud Gibril Sesay also highlighted a series of current activities including ongoing work on amending the Public Elections Act in a bid to address issues of manipulation of elections. He said NEC would also address issues of corruption that came up during the last general elections to ensure that members of the public have faith in the electoral process. Mr. Sesay noted that his Commission would be engaged in several public education activities in a bid to educate the public about their activities and the electoral processes in an effort to address issues of suspicion which are normally prevalent during electioneering periods.
Responding, the ACC Commissioner pledged his support to NEC especially in the area of public education and legal assistance to ensure that the electoral body operates within the confines of the law.
Meanwhile, the Advisory Board of the ACC has officially handed over the report of a four-day tour of the Commission’s regional offices of Makeni, Bo, Kenema and Kono. Presenting the report to the Commissioner, Chairman of the Board Bishop Tamba Allieu Koroma described the tour as one meant to assess the work of the regional offices and acquaint themselves with the staff and major stakeholders in the fight against corruption.
Making a presentation on behalf of the Board, board member, Gertrude Taylor presented a congratulatory card to the Commissioner on his election as member of the Africa Union Advisory Board on Corruption, an achievement, she said, speaks volume of the country’s strides in the fight against corruption.
Responding, the ACC Commissioner thanked members of the Advisory Board for the tour, noting that the Commission has already started addressing some of the issues highlighted in the report. On the message of congratulations, Mr. Kamara thanked management and staff of the Commission whom he said had always provided the required support to execute his duties efficiently and effectively. He also spoke of the election of the Deputy Commissioner, Shollay Davies as Financial Secretary of the West African Anti-Corruption Agencies.
THE IMPORTANCE OF INTERNATIONAL ANTI-CORRUPTION DAY
Sierra Leone and the world over are commemorating the international anti-corruption day (IAC Day) – a day set aside by the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 58/7 in October 2003 to raise awareness on the dangers of corruption.
The day has become a reminder to political authorities, civil society organizations and business people for a more robust action and positive attitude towards tackling graft. Nations have realized the devastating effects of corruption to the peoples of the world and to the foundations of democracy and good governance. No democracy that can be buoyed in the face of prevailing and rampant theft of government resources, siphoning of state funds, conversion of state properties, and twisting of the law. These anti-democratic principles have hollowed out African democracy for centuries, but deliberate and concerted effort in the last twenty years is redeeming the continent.
African countries have been gripped for years by unprecedented greed and selfishness, tribalism, political instability, and rampant corruption. This has affected every facet of society, from the human mind to the human behavior and attitude, and from social and economic institutions to political and legal framework. This no doubt has resulted to underdevelopment in the broadest sense, and more narrowly to poverty and appalling violence and sometimes uprising. In the last twenty years, Sierra Leone suffered the heat of a brutal war, losing a huge chunk of its physical infrastructure, and a large percentage of its human resources. Apart from those who died, those who fled the country many are yet to return to contribute to nation building.
The country’s economy lost its shape – an economy which had taken off from a slate of certainty was reversed and almost located on the fringe of recession. Sectors booming such as mines, agriculture, education, electricity, revenue generation almost gave up. A leading cause for this overturn is corruption.
Sierra Leone plotted a redemption strategy; this came full force, particularly so after the institutionalization of democracy in 1996, when the country signed the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) on 9th December 2004. Prior to the signing, the ACC had been established four years earlier. The existence of the Commission and the domestication of the UNCAC document in September 2004 indicated government’s commitment towards eradicating corruption, and towards addressing bad governance. Celebrating the international anti-corruption day is a mark of victory over bad governance, and an indication that the people of Sierra Leone have pledged to support development, and uphold integrity.
9th December serves to galvanize political authorities and rekindle their interest in tackling the scourge. Authorities in ministries, departments and agencies and in the private sector are reminded of their pledge to work on behalf of the people of Sierra Leone. They are reminded and urged to take action against individuals engaging in dubious activities significantly undermining the public good. Authorities are reminded to protect public property and revenue, avoid taking and giving bribes, avoid using influence for contract, avoid giving and taking kickbacks, and avoid misappropriating donor and public funds.
The Anti-Corruption Commission has lined up events marking the significance of the day. The Commissioner is all set to address the nation on corruption issues and on the progress Sierra Leone has made in the fight. An address as this will serve to assure the nation that there is commitment to sustain the progress made to eradicate the bane.
This Day serves to remind actors to safeguard the trust placed on them by the public on the one hand and urge the public to fulfill their part by taking keen interest in issues of corruption on the other hand. Public trust is a vital element to secure public support. The fight against corruption will be nowhere without public trust. The ACC jealously safeguards that trust and has been enjoying public support more than ever. IAC Day serves to strengthen that trust.
Additionally, IAC Day is commemorated to highlight challenges facing the Commission and the successes it has achieved.
The Commission has made tremendous effort in strengthening systems and processes of several MDAs including Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Ministry of Agriculture, University of Sierra Leone, Sierra Leone Road Transport Corporation, to name but a few, to enable them adopt best practices. Partnership with relevant MDAs and civil society organizations including the media and community based organizations has increased the outreach scope of the Commission and essentially quadrupled public education programmes on the radio, TV, and through community meetings. On the prosecution front it has secured 100% conviction this year. In spite of the achievements, the Commission continues to faces challenges in respect of finance to support its activities. Challenges also subsist in terms of transforming attitudes and behaviours in the fight against corruption.
The Anti-Corruption Commission will be commemorating the Day with a week-long event. The nationwide commemoration will be marked with activities ranging from a radio quiz competition involving JSS and SSS pupils, Muslim and Christian thanksgiving service, and a statement to the nation by the Anti-Corruption Commissioner. These events underscore the importance the Commission places on involving the populace in marking the Day.
STATEMENT OF THE COMMISSIONER, MR. JOSEPH FITZGERALD KAMARA ON THE
COMMEMORATION OF INTERNATIONAL ANTI-CORRUPTION
(IAC) DAY 9TH DECEMBER 2014
Commissioner, ACC - Mr. Joseph Fitzgerald Kamara
Today December 9 is the day set aside by the United Nations as the International Anti-Corruption Day. Countries all over the world observe this day by raising people’s awareness on the damaging effects of corruption and what is required for combating and preventing it.
As we observe this day in Sierra Leone under the dark cloud of the Ebola epidemic which has negatively impacted every sector of life in the country, the Commission sympathizes with our compatriots who have lost their loved ones to this affliction. The ACC fully appreciates the selfless services of health workers who face life threatening challenges daily to defeat the pandemic. We as a Commission, will continue to pray for deliverance from this disease.
Proactive measures have taken by the Commission to ensure transparency and accountability in the use and management of public/donor resources meant to contain the virus. the A press statement cautioning on judicious expenditure was issued followed by a senior management team visit to regional Ebola operational centres. The Commission is also keenly monitoring the disbursement and expenditure of Ebola funds.
The Anti-Corruption Commission as the statutory organ that provides leadership in fighting corruption continues to discharge its mandate assiduously.
The National Anti-Corruption Strategy for 2014- 2018 was formally launched in June 2014. This strategy provides a comprehensive framework to curbing corruption in Ministries departments and agencies with the establishment of Integrity Management Committees in all MDAs. To strengthen this initiative, the ACC has undertaken the mainstreaming of anti corruption measures in the civil service.
In July this year the Commission launched the 2013 National Corruption Perception Survey report which indicated that 76% of Sierra Leoneans have confidence in the effectiveness of the ACC. This finding is also reflected in the 100% willingness of sierra Leoneans to join the fight against corruption. Manifestation of these is evidenced in the 100% conviction rate in corruption cases prosecuted in the high court of Sierra Leone.
For the first time the ACC secured convictions on the offences of “possession of unexplained wealth" and "failure to declare assets". The Commission in 2014 also paid into the consolidated fund an amount of about five hundred million leones as recoveries from individuals and organizations.
International recognition of these successes resulted in Sierra Leone attaining the first place benchmark by the Commonwealth heads of anti corruption agencies in Africa as a country for transfer and peer learning.
The Transparency International corruption perception index of 2014 shows Sierra Leone has made steady progress in the fight against corruption. Out of 174 countries surveyed in 2014, Sierra Leone is ranked 119, with a score of 31, which rates the Country ahead of Gambia, Togo, Cameroon, Nigeria, Kenya, and even Russia. The country has moved 39 spaces upwards in the TI rankings within the last five years, from 158 in 2008 to 119 in 2014.
It is worthy to note that winning the fight against corruption requires our united and determined efforts. National integrity institutions such as the judiciary, the Sierra Leone correctional services, the Sierra Leone police, the auditor general, office of the ombudsman, the national public procurement authority, must take on anti corruption as a major activity in their annual program plans.
Civil society organizations will need to become more involved in the fight against corruption by expanding the scope of anti corruption partnerships which are critical for good governance.
To make reporting of corruption easier and faster, the Commission has developed a new internet application which can be accessed on Google play in the Sierra Leone app using a smart phone.
In the face of these successes there are great challenges for us as a nation. The inability of Sierra Leone to meet the qualification for the threshold and compact package of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) was due to the inadequate control of corruption. The delay in the implementation of the right of access to information needs immediate action.
Given the dire consequences of allowing corruption to thrive in our country, as we observe the international anti corruption day let us remain steadfast and resist with all enthusiasm any acts of corruption in all spheres of life for the progress of our beloved country.
I wish for us all a Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.
ACC MONITORS SOCIAL SAFETY NET ENROLMENT PROCESS
IN THE NORTH
In its resolve to combat corruption through prevention in all facets of the society, the Northern Region Office of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has on Saturday 7th February 2015 commenced monitoring exercise in the enrolment of Social Safety Net (SSN) beneficiaries.
The project which is funded by the World Bank is being implemented by the National Commission for Social Action (NaCSA) in some communities in Magbaimba Ndowahun and Tambaka Chiefdoms respectively in the Bombali district. It is a programme designed to improve on the poor condition of Sierra Leoneans thereby providing them with funds on monthly basis via SPLASH.
As part of its responsibility in the project implementation, ACC provides oversight role in the whole exercise in order to prevent misuse of donor funds. Consequently, it monitors and receives complaints from the SSN and Cash for Work beneficiaries and takes appropriate action. The registration exercise which took place in December 2014 was supervised by the Commission. The ACC provided toll free lines (161) Airtel and (077 986-986 or 077 985-985) to the communities to enable them report any problem or concerns that they may encounter during the course of the implementation phase of the programme.
The Commission is simultaneously monitoring the Cash for Work payment to community youth by SPLASH and the enrolment of SSN beneficiaries by the National Registration Secretariat (NRS) to ensure that the targeted individuals are captured. Therein, beneficiaries were provided with a SPLASH sim card with a unique pin code, enrolment certificate, a programme description paper provided by NaCSA and snap shot taken for provision of National Identity (ID) card, which will be given to them on a latter date by NRS. The enrolment programme also caters for non SSN beneficiaries who will be provided with a national ID card free of cost.
DEPUTY COMMISSIONER ACC, ADDRESSES THE SIXTH SESSION OF THE UNCAC
IMPLEMENTATION REVIEW GROUP MEETING IN VIENNA, AUSTRIA 1-5 JUNE 2015
The Deputy Commissioner, ACC - Mr. Shollay Davies
Thank you, Mr. Chair, for the opportunity you have accorded me and the Secretariat for the detailed oral report on the implementation so far on chapters 3 and 4 dealing with International Cooperation and Criminalization and wish to express optimism that the level of achievement so far is encouraging and there is need for our respective countries to do more in ensuring full compliance to the recommendations of the Convention. I would also like to associate with the African position as presented by the Nigerian delegation and to emphasize the need for preventive measures because of the known fact that it is far more cheaper and sustainable to prevent corruption than to prosecute or even recover stolen wealth.
Mr. Chairman, I am pleased to state that Sierra Leone is among the first few countries that signed to the UN Convention on the 9th of December 2003 and ratified same on October 30, 2004. We also adopted the ECOWAS Protocol and acceded to the AU Convention against corruption. We have been reviewed by Thailand and Benin and has also reviewed Tanzania and Gabon.
Tremendous efforts have been made in strengthening our legal framework. The Anti-Corruption Act of 2000 was repealed and replaced with the 2008 Act considered as one of the strongest anti corruption Acts in the sub region.
Because of the prosecutorial powers conferred on the ACC, we have secured significant numbers of high profile convictions and undertaken reviews of the systems and procedures of public sector institutions that are considered as corruption hot-spots with a view to closing the inherent corruption vulnerabilities in the delivery of services. We have also introduced integrity pledges and pacts aimed at promoting integrity, transparency and accountability in the award of contracts and other investments undertaken by government.
Sierra Leone is implementing the third generation of the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper, dubbed the Agenda for Prosperity and Control of Corruption is a fundamental aspect of Pillar 7 of that paper. This is also coinciding with the implementation of the third cycle of the Implementation of the our National Anti Corruption Strategy (NACS). Integrity management committees have also been set up in Ministries/Departments and Agencies (MDAs) both at national and sub-national levels to own the fight against corruption.
A recent publication by the MO Ibrahim Foundation on African governance in 2014, ranked Sierra Leone 25 out of 52 countries with a pass of 51.1 percent score, making a 3.9 progression above that of 2013. In the area of accountability, Sierra Leone made substantial progress with an average grade of 9.4 improvement in the fight against corruption.
However, it is important to note that many of our developing countries face the challenge of managing a cash economy with limited audit trail especially on illicit financial flows. This has posed serious challenges in our efforts to curb money laundering and illicit financial flows. If we are to make progress in tackling corruption this aspect has to be taken very seriously in our preventive strategy against corruption in line with Article two of the Convention.
On that note I wish to renew Sierra Leone' commitment in the implementation of the UNCAC and we look forward to the Conference of State Parties in St. Petersburg in Russia and the second cycle of the review process of the UNCAC.
Responding to the presentation by the Secretariat on the Revised Checklist for the review of the second cycle of the UNCAC review and the challenges of the current review process, the Deputy Commissioner laid special emphasis on issues touching on the non compliance of some countries and issues of the follow up on the review of the two chapters (ie Chapters 3&4) as well a the revised checklist for the second review cycle. Moving forwards, he implored the honorable house, with the guidance of the Secretariat, to continue to encourage those countries that have failed to comply so as to avoid a situation where counties that are now complying, slide back to previous years.
On the follow up measures, Mr. Davies recommended that member countries be qualified to proceed to the next phase of the review cycle on a set of criteria including, but not limited to compliance to a certain percentile of the recommendations of the follow up measures in the 1st review phase. This will give a reasonable assurance on the thoroughness of the implementation process.
On the Checklist, he thanked the Secretariat for the consideration of reducing the number of questions and repetitive questions for the second cycle for ease of compliance without compromising on the quality and also propose, with respect, that a set of compulsory and optional questions be used for the second phase of the review to enable the Secretariat to place more emphasis on more important questions of our mutual anti-corruption initiatives.
Commenting further on the review process and associating with the earlier comments made by the US delegation, Mr. Shollay Davies, drew attention to keeping track of the previous gains so far achieved as we progress to the second phase of the review cycle. The Secretariat should consider a separate mechanism to keep this in check as we move along, he said. He cited that although comments have been made across the room about the time frame for the review cycle. This has to be further deliberated upon given the context of the varying circumstances of our respective countries especially for those countries experiencing civil strife, natural disasters and economic stagnation to finance the process. He restated the position of Sierra Leone to subject itself to the review process and to lend its support to the Secretariat in the review of our sister countries.
The Deputy Commissioner also presented some of the technical assistance required for the full implementation of the UNCAC which include legislative drafting, capacity building for the judiciary and case reporting and later held bilateral discussions with Candice Welsch, Chief, Implementation Support Section, Corruption and Economic Crime Section, Division for Treaty Affairs who promised UNODC support in that regard. The resolution for the adoption of the various reports was passed unanimously by distinguished delegates of member countries.
The Sierra Leone delegation also held a tripartite meeting with UNODC and the experts of the reviewing country for Sierra Leone on the review report and the follow up measures.
Following this, the Deputy Commissioner is due to deliver a paper as Financial Secretary of the Network of Anti-Corruption Agencies in West Africa (NACIWA) at an extraordinary meeting of the Network in Bamako Mali, to adopt the NACIWA Constitution amongst other matters on the 8th and 9th of June 2015.
It must be noted that Sierra Leone performed very well in the review process on Chapters 3 and 4 of the UNCAC, a report of which is currently being translated.
Sierra Leone's delegation at the ongoing conference comprises, the Deputy Commissioner, Mr. Shollay Davies and ACC Prosecutor, Ady Macauley, providing technical assistance.
ACC DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SIGNS CONTRACT AND INTEGRITY PACT WITH S.L GOUJI CONSTRUCTIONS
The Deputy Commissioner of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Shollay Davies on Friday 22nd May 2015 at the ACC Conference Room, 3 Gloucester Street Freetown, signed the contract for the construction of a multipurpose, ultra-modern Headquarter office at Tower Hill Freetown.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Mr. Davies emphasized that he was very passionate about the project and called on Gouji to do their best in ensuring that the edifice meets the required standard. Deputy Commissioner congratulated Gouji, and maintained that he was satisfied as Gouji has fully complied with all the set criteria, noting that he will work closely with the contractors to ensure that the project is completed within the specified time.
Mr. Davies disclosed that funds for the building are wholly provided by the Government of Sierra Leone, which is a marked demonstration of Government's commitment to the fight against corruption in the country.
Making his submission, the project Manager IDEAS consultants Jenner Forde acknowledged that Gouji constructions had gone through a very rigorous, competitive and transparent process, and was satisfied with the outcome. He assured the ACC of quality work, without bending the rules since they would want to see value for money enforced.
In his statement, the Head of Gouji constructions SHI Feng Liang expressed delight for the opportunity given them to build the ACC Headquarter office. He said Gouji has been working in Sierra Leone for the past ten years and has maintained its reputation with quality work products. He assured the ACC that the construction will be completed in record time and will be of very high standard.
Also, the Deputy Commissioner and Head of Gouji signed an Integrity Pact in order to observe clean and sound business practices devoid of corruption. Integrity pact is an anti-corruption measure that seeks to enhance quality service delivery.
The site will be handed over to the contractors before 5th June 2015, and construction work will commence immediately.
The project duration is eighteen (18) months, meaning the construction work will be completed in November 2016.
Currently, the Commission's Headquarter office is housed in rented premises at 3 Gloucester Street and Lotto Building, Tower Hill Freetown.
Deputy Commissioner, Shollay Davies (R) and Head of Gouji Liang SHI (L) displaying the signed contract document.
Deputy Commissioner ACC, Shollay Davies (R) appending the seal on the contract document.
ACC CONCLUDES REGIONAL ADVOCACY SEMINAR IN KONO FOR SENIOR AND MIDDLE LEVEL MANAGERS TO INTEGRATE ANTI-CORRUPTION POLICIES IN THE CIVIL SERVICE
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) with support from European Union (EU) on Friday 15th and Saturday 16th May, 2015 at the Sahr Musa Sessie Gbenda Hall in Koidu City appealed to senior and middle level managers of the civil service to mainstream anti-corruption initiatives into their strategic plans and activities.
Speaking on the rationale for the seminar, ACC’s Deputy Director Public Education and Outreach Patrick Sandi firstly delivered greetings from the Commissioner, Joseph Fitzgerald Kamara and the Deputy Commissioner, Shollay Davies. He underscored the seminar is a nationwide advocacy campaign with support from EU to mainstream anti-corruption initiatives, measures and policies in Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in order to improve and enhance integrity, transparency, accountability and quality service delivery in their operations. Integrating anti-corruption measures into the policy framework and operations of civil servants will be a clear demonstration of the willingness of civil servants in the fight against corruption, Sandi observed.
The Deputy Director highlighted the relevant areas to mainstream such as; open, fair and transparent recruitment process, developing, popularizing and operationalizing service charter, adoption of conflict of interest rules, integrity pact, integrity pledge, asset declaration, accountable appraisal system and robust internal audit regime.
Dilating on the offences in the AC Act 2008 that are germane to public officers, Mr. Sandi outlined, possession of unexplained wealth, corrupt acquisition of wealth, using influence for contract, misappropriation of public fund/property, offering, soliciting or accepting advantage, abuse of office/position, deceiving a principal and gift as corrupt practices punishable by law. The penalty for each of these offences is a fine not less than thirty million leones or not less than three years imprisonment or both fine and imprisonment, Sandi furthered.
Giving an overview of the European Union project implementation on mainstreaming, Head of Public Education Unit, Michael Sesay stated that EU funded the advocacy meeting to transplant anti-corruption measures into MDAs in order to maximize quality service delivery. Public officers must be professional, impartial and selfless in the discharge of their duties, as these underpin their role in the fight against corruption, Sesay stressed.
Speaking on the significance of service charters to the mainstreaming process, Systems Analyst, Horatio Barlay said, service charter was an important accountability tool, as it informed clients about the procedure, cost and duration for the services which ensured improved and high quality product. Mr. Barlay continued that, it was a yard stick to measure transparency, accountability and probity because in the event quality did not match with what was described in the service charter the customer would have an opportunity to seek redress by making relevant phone calls to the head of entity or the ACC.
Discussing the National Anti-Corruption Strategy (2014-18) document and its relationship with the mainstreaming process, NACS Coordinating Officer Montfort Okeke Macaulay underscored the NACS was in line with pillar seven (7) of the Agenda for Prosperity, which emphasizes on public sector reform. He disclosed that the Strategy aims at bringing MDAs to the fore and take ownership of the fight against corruption, which necessitated the formation of Integrity Management Committees (IMCs) and the crafting of work plans by MDAs.
Earlier in his submission, ACC’s Sub-Regional Manager Kono, Rev. Bob Tejan Kandeh who also chaired noted that, the seminar focused on MDAs in order to mainstream anti-corruption initiatives/measures in their operations to maintain transparency and accountability. He stressed that the fight against corruption was a collective one requiring the inputs of all and sundry.
It could be recalled that the Commission had conducted similar advocacy meetings in the North from 29th April to 4th May, and South 11th to 12th May and Kenema 13th to 14th May 2015.
Cross section of the participants at the seminar for senior level managers in Kono
ACC DIALOGUES WITH CONFERENCE OF PRINCIPALS ON ILLEGAL CHARGES IN SCHOOLS
In a bid to suppress the high incidence of illegal charges, and mitigate corruption in schools, especially on the school fees waiver scheme instituted by the Government of Sierra Leone; the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) dialogued with Principals from various schools in Freetown. This engagement which was factored into their normal meeting as Conference of Principals was held at the Government Rokel Secondary School, Tower Hill Freetown on Thursday 21st May 2015.
Making his presentation, ACC’s Deputy Director of Public Education and Outreach Patrick Sandi encouraged the principals of schools, whose constituency he considered very core in the educational sector to be upright and dedicated in controlling graft in their institutions. Mr. Sandi proceeded by enumerating gains made by the Commission.
The National Anti-Corruption Strategy 2014-18 he maintained, has brought in the aspect of mainstreaming anti- corruption policies aimed at the prevention and reduction of corruption incidences in MDAs. Mr. Sandi further stated that the Integrity pact recently launched by the Vice President Victor Bockarie Foh is a contractual agreement between the public and private sector premised on ensuring integrity in the transaction of business. By the same token, heads of MDAs signed the Integrity Pledge, vowing to uphold the tenets of integrity in their dealings with the private sector.
Mr. Sandi dilated on many issues ranging from the Asset and Liability Disclosure regime, Citizens Service Charter, to the pilot phase of the Social Safety Net (SSN) in which the grievance redress mechanism is solely handled by the ACC. He drew the attention of principals to the National Public Perception Survey 2014 that also brought the Ministry of Education and Health to the lime light in aspects of prevalent corruption. He therefore implored the heads of schools to work closely with the ACC, in order to change those perceptions.
Public Education Officer David Kanekey Conteh catalogued practical corruption issues existing in the school system. In describing teaching as a noble profession, Mr. Conteh said there are unscrupulous individuals who are bent on tainting the integrity of an institution which is expected to possess very high moral standing. Illegal charges, extortion and bribery are common place in schools, he stressed. Mr Conteh encouraged principals of schools to institute internal control mechanisms to eradicate corruption in schools. The free toll lines operated by the ACC for reporting corruption were presented.
Moses Bangura, Monitoring and Compliance Officer of ACC made a reflection of findings from monitoring exercises carried out on schools by the Commission for the past four to five years. Mr Bangura said teachers’ absenteeism and lack of commitment have become alarming in schools these days. Teachers abandon their post for months, but yet receive salary at the end of the month. The issue of ghost teachers on the pay roll was not an exception. According to Mr. Bangura, principals maintain names of teachers who have left the profession in the vouchers at the expense of those new teachers who are to be included on the voucher.
Speaking on behalf of his colleagues, Sylvester Meheux, Chairman Conference of principals said they have chosen the teaching profession as against other gainful careers as a sacrifice to nation building. When responding to some of the accusations made with regards corruption in schools, Mr. Meheux entreated the Commission to verify those complaints, as they are sometimes unfounded. As he guaranteed the Commission on the integrity of colleagues, Mr. Meheux assured the Commission of the total support of principals in making Sierra Leone a corrupt free nation.
ACC WRAPS WITH MDAs ON MAINSTREAMING INTEGRITY PACTS
The ACC Commissioner, Deputy Commissioner and a cross section of stakeholders
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has held an inception meeting with some government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) on mainstreaming integrity pacts within the public sector. The meeting which took place on Tuesday 28th April 2015, at the conference room of the ACC, was meant to determine the way forward in modelling what is referred to as “Integrity Pacts”. The Pact is a document to make commitment between an institution and a contractor, with the sole aim of safeguarding the basic tenants of integrity in the award and implementation of government contracts.
While making his statement, Commissioner of the ACC, Joseph Fitzgerald Kamara Esq. admitted that fighting corruption is an ongoing event, adding that no matter the efforts put into it, there is much more to be done. He noted that the need to implement more strategies cannot be over emphasized. Mr Kamara described the integrity pacts as a formal type of relationship or tie, which goes far beyond an MOU, adding that it aims at modelling an anti-corruption clause in every contract and procurement award.
The Commissioner said even though the integrity pact is not a monitoring tool, yet the contracting parties are bound into a legal relationship. As he recognised that fighting corruption is not a standalone battle. He further expressed the desire for partnership and collaboration.
Mr. Kamara encouraged the MDAs to sign an integrity pledge with the Commission, vowing to implement the integrity pacts while dealing with contractors. He said it is the responsibility of every well-meaning Sierra Leonean to preserve the state.
In his opening statement, the Deputy Commissioner of ACC Shollay Davies referred to the inaugural engagement as the meeting of minds, which will direct the trend the integrity pacts will take. Mr Davies emphasized the significance the ACC has placed on integrity issues and its numerous efforts, especially within the Asset Declaration Regime and other meaningful engagements with MDAs. He stated his belief that corruption can be tackled when integrity is strengthened, as it reflects transparency and accountability. He stressed the need for involving revenue mobilisation and large budget-driven institutions- like Ministries of Health, Education, Agriculture, the NRA, NASSIT, SLRTC and NACSA- in the pilot phase of this project in partnership with the Open Government Initiative (OGI) as lead partner in the integrity cluster.
Speaking on behalf of the Secretary to the Cabinet, Samuel Bangura, a permanent secretary, considers ACC’s effort as a welcomed idea, which will foster accountability and transparency within the public sector. He therefore pledged their unwavering support to the integrity pacts, considering the constitutional role the Secretary to Cabinet plays in ensuring a corrupt free public sector management. Mr. Bangura also described this as a symbiotic partnership that will help strengthen institutions. As he presumes that the integrity pact will have a far-reaching effect, Mr. Bangura further recommends the factoring of the integrity pacts initiative into donor contracts as well.
Commenting on the bi-lateral relationship existing between the Anti-Corruption Commission and the Open Government Initiative (OGI), regarding the integrity pacts; the Executive Director of OGI, Kadijah Sesay catalogued their accomplishments, as having one of the most robust action plan among sixty four countries in the implementation of the OGI. She further states that the OGI was able to attain such accolade, because of the determined support of the ACC and the Agenda for Prosperity.
Madam Sesay proceeded said the Open Government Initiative gave rise to the Open Government partnership, in the bid to promote democracy, good governance and the rule of law. The OGI is entrenched in the promotion of accountability, transparency and citizen’s participation as their core values. She emphasised that the integrity pacts will help the OGI, in achieving their fourth indicator-Income and Asset Disclosure.
The formal launch and signing of the integrity pacts by MDAs is expected to take place in May this year.
Several contributions were made by participants who were representing their respective MDAs.
ACC AND NMO IN MASSIVE CAMPAIGN AGAINST EBOLA AND CORRUPTION
ACC AND NMO IN MASSIVE CAMPAIGN AGAINST EBOLA AND CORRUPTION
Over two hundred men and women of the National Marketing Organization (NMO) on Saturday 11th April 2015 joined the Anti–Corruption Commission (ACC) in an end Ebola and anti- corruption campaign in Sierra Leone across major markets in Freetown. The "End Ebola and Corruption Campaign" was a sensitization exercise to educate the public especially marketers on the dangers of Ebola and corruption and the benefits of eradicating both diseases.
Addressing the campaigners at the entrance of the Vine Memorial Secondary School – Congo Cross, the ACC Deputy Commissioner Shollay Davies commended NMO for partnering with the ACC and stressed the significance of the campaign as Sierra Leone grapples with the countdown to ending the Ebola Virus Disease. The Deputy Commissioner entreated the marketers to disseminate anti–Ebola and anti-corruption messages as buyers and sellers would better understand information from them. Mr. Davies highlighted key messages that would constitute the campaign notably; the community has power to stop Ebola; safe and dignified burial; only you and I can say no to Ebola; celebrate survivors. He assured marketers and the general public of the Commission’s undiluted support to crack down on corruption in the fight against Ebola in Sierra Leone.
Earlier, the Director Public Education and Outreach Department, Koloneh Sankoh admonished the marketers to observe the preventive measures of hand washing and no body contact as they raise awareness on Ebola. Ms. Sankoh underscored the Commission's resolve to working with civil society groups to destroy corruption in all its forms.
Buyers and sellers in the Western urban and rural Areas benefited from anti–corruption and anti-Ebola messages at different moments of the tour, which were inscribed on placards and Information, Education and Communication materials distributed as well.
ACC’S DEPUTY COMMISSIONER DIALOGUES WITH IMMIGRATION DEPARTMENT
The Deputy Commissioner and a cross section of ACC and Immigration staff
The Deputy Commissioner of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), Shollay Davies has called on the Immigrations Department to improve on services to meet modern day standards of operations. He made this statement at the Department's Headquarters at Rawdon Street on Tuesday 5th May 2015 whilst debriefing the Chief Immigration Officer and team on the Commission's overt observation on the Immigration Department in 2014.
Mr. Davies said the challenges at the Immigrations Department are numerous. Some of the findings he highlighted are the illegal issuing of Sierra Leone's passports to foreigners, and the ineffective communication between the National Revenue Authority (NRA) staff and the Chief Accountant at the Immigration Department in revenue collection which he said creates opportunities for corruption. He cited the problems of inadequate level of public awareness on the services of the Immigration Department and coordination challenges between Landing Visa Unit and officers at the Lungi Airport. These, he said are exacerbated by the weak policy environments which are crucial issues in modern day management. He went further to say that the legislations governing the Immigration Department are ailing, therefore there is the need for consideration to be given to those legislations.
He however praised the Immigration Department as the first institution that embraced the Service Charter, as the Charter has been of immense benefit to both institutions and members of the public. He also applauded them for initiating the drafting of the National Migration Policy.
The Deputy Commissioner, also stated that the Production Department of the Immigration Department should be the sole agent for drafting daily production list rather than the secretary to the Chief Immigration Officer. He added that all monetary transactions for passports should be paid into the Immigration Department's bank account and not to individuals. He stated that corruption sometimes exist during cash transactions directly to individuals. He also advised that the Chief Immigration Officer must ensure that oversight functions, such as landing visas that are being delegated meets standard requirements.
Responding to the findings and recommendations, the Chief Immigration Officer (CIO), Kholifa Koroma informed the gathering that the findings and recommendations obtained through ACC’s overt observation indict their institution and that they need to work very hard on set policies. Mr. Koroma said they are having few challenges at the Immigration Department. He emphasized that part of the challenges are based on pressures mounted by members of the public when they do not want to adhere to the cost of services spelled out in the Service Charter. On the issuing of Sierra Leone’s passport to foreign nationals, Mr. Koroma said during his tenure as CIO, he ensured that all applications go through the Central Processing and the Intelligence and Investigations Units before the issuance of passport. He noted that over hundreds of passport application forms are under investigations “ ...that is why we need to work with the Births and Deaths Department and the National Registration Secretariat,” Koroma emphasized. He informed the gathering about their work on the National Migration Policy and transition to biometric passport. He assured the Deputy Commissioner and team that they will put measures in place for better and quality service delivery.
ADVOCACY MEETING ON MAINSTREAMING ANTI-CORRUPTION POLICIES IN THE CIVIL SERVICE ENDS IN FREETOWN
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) recently concluded advocacy meeting on the mainstreaming of anti-corruption initiatives in the civil service. This meeting climaxed several advocacy meetings earlier held at the regional headquarter towns and districts across the country. The two days meeting which attracted senior and middle level managers in MDAs took place at the conference room of the ACC on 2nd and 3rd June 2015.
Making a statement at the opening ceremony, the Commissioner of the Anti-Corruption Commission, Joseph Fitzgerald Kamara lauded MDAs for their response to the call for a meeting on mainstreaming anti-corruption policies in the civil service, as it is the recent vogue in the anti-graft fight. Mr Kamara attributed credence to this engagement, that it will help shape and influence public policies and at the same time heightens institutional responsiveness to the formulation and implementation of internal anti-corruption initiatives. As responsible public sector officials, Mr Kamara said, we should be in the position to advocate for the inclusion of sound policies in our systems, for the smooth running of our institutions. For the sake of administrative prudence, we should refuse to see the abnormal practices, as a regular way of life; adding that you can better understand the effects of corruption when you are the victim to it, for emotional pain is more destructive than physical pain.
The Commissioner further stated that, regardless of the already existing gains made by the ACC, as captured in the most recent Mo Ibrahim Index which placed Sierra Leone in a position above many other African countries, the Commission is still of the opinion that we have not arrived at a situation of convenience. He noted that the ACC is not a repository of knowledge, so the need for collective action in the fight against corruption could not be over emphasized. We must therefore examine our roles in the discharge of our functions, as we are all on board a common vehicle to a sweet “Mama Salone”.
Presenting on the topic: “mainstreaming implementation of anti-corruption initiatives in public sector management”; Patrick Sandi, Deputy Director of Public Education and Outreach Department of the ACC outlined several anti-corruption toolkits which could be adopted by MDAs. While emphasizing on the need for internal control structure within MDAs, Mr. Sandi encouraged MDAs to develop robust codes of conduct, strengthen internal audit structures and performance appraisal systems for staff within their institutions. He also urged MDAs to integrate the Asset Declaration scheme into their institutional policies, as an anti-corruption measure.
The citizen’s service charter, he said is an effective instrument that could be used by institutions, since it shows the type of services offered, the fees and time lines associated with accessing such services. This he believed will drastically minimise the incidence of corruption. Mr Sandi also spoke of the integrity pledge signed by MDAs as a commitment to follow the path of integrity, while the integrity pact is an agreement between a public body and the private sector, especially in the award of contracts.
“The relevance of the National Anti-Corruption Strategy (NACS) to the mainstreaming process” was another topic for discussion. This topic was handled by both the Director of NACS, Nabilahi Musa Kamara and Edita Fofanah as Implementation Analyst of NACS. In their presentation, they spoke about the relationship of NACS with MDAs in the identification of corruption issues, the setting up of action plans and the monitoring of the implementation process by MDAs.
While reflecting on the accomplishments made in the area of establishing Integrity Committees in MDAs, Nabilahi-Musa Kamara said NACS have recorded a success of about 95%, and within the local councils it is about 100%. As he spoke about the relevance of having Integrity Committees, he therefore encouraged MDAs to give their support to these committees.
Another important anti-corruption measure suitable for mainstreaming within MDAs is the establishment of Monitoring and Evaluation component. Dilating on the basic tools for monitoring of Government projects, Sampson Saidu, Monitoring and Compliance Specialist of ACC said, the need to measure daily operations of an institution is very relevant and that a project is more likely to fail were there is no monitoring and evaluation outfit. Mr. Saidu maintained that monitoring must not just be limited to the project plan, but must be extended to the activity progress and outcome, taking into cognisance the key indicators. Mr Saidu further said it is now a pre-requisite by donors and NGOs, for institutions to have a Measurement and Evaluation outfit to assess the allocation and utilization of resources.
Evelyn Kuyateh, Deputy Director; and Abdul Rahman Kamara Head of Financial Investigations Unit, both from the Investigations, Intelligence and Prosecutions Department of ACC, gave the final presentation on key corruption issue and reporting procedures. They said, the 2008 Anti-Corruption Act provides for 27 corruption offences, of which Misappropriation of Public and Donor funds, Abuse of Office and Position, Protection of Government property and revenue related offences are ranked as the most common offences for which the Commission has secured convictions. They therefore entreated public officers to desist from such practices and gave them the free toll lines which are used to report corruption.
ACC COMMISSIONER JOSEPH FITZGERALD KAMARA RECEIVES ANOTHER AWARD
The Commissioner of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Joseph Fitzgerald Kamara on Wednesday 3rd June, 2015 was awarded a certificate by Media Alliance for Business Administration and Development for his outstanding performance in the rebranding process and positive contributions to the promotion of the Agenda for Prosperity.
Speaking at the award ceremony, at the Commission's 3 Gloucester Street Office, the ACC boss thanked the media group and maintained that the successes scored by the Commission are due to the dedicated efforts of his staff. Mr. Kamara underscored, he was pleased to see Sierra Leoneans demonstrating their conviction and belief in the fight against graft. "I feel encouraged that there are people who acknowledge the work we do, Commissioner Kamara added. The ACC head reiterated that fighting corruption is a tough job, and called on all and sundry to be steadfast in the campaign.
Presenting the award to the ACC Commissioner, Melvin S. Kargbo Coordinator of the Alliance emphasized that Mr. Kamara have demonstrated sound leadership in the fight against corruption in the country. He catalogued the gains made by the Commission in attaining the goals set in the Agenda for Prosperity. He assured the Commission of their fullest support to the fight at all times.
Media Alliance for Business Administration and Development comprises journalists who share the view that the fight against corruption is for all and have also resolved to support the ACC in winning the fight.
It is recalled that so far in 2015, the Commissioner, has bagged over four awards from credible organizations, for his remarkable achievements in the fight against corruption in the country.
Commissioner Joseph F. Kamara (C) receiving the Award from the Media Alliance
Commissioner ACC, Joseph Kamara (c) displaying the Award, and flanked by Directors-ACC and Media Alliance members
ACC COMMISSIONER ENCOURAGES EDITORS TO RE-ENGINEER THE NARRATIVES
IN THE FIGHT AGAINST CORRUPTION
The Anti-Corruption Commissioner Joseph Fitzgerald Kamara has told editors to re-engineer the narratives in the fight against corruption, and use their pen to develop a better Sierra Leone at a seminar hosted by the Commission for the Guild of Editors at Hill Valley Hotel. Mr. Kamara said the power wielded by journalists is enormous and that places them at a crucial position in building a better society by promoting development through advocacy for a corrupt-free Sierra Leone.
He said the power of the pen should be used to right the wrongs, translate cultures for change of attitudes and behaviours, and monitor development. Journalists should constantly safeguard good governance, defend the security which they themselves enjoy, and create public space for debate and dialogue. The Anti-Corruption Commissioner Joseph Fitzgerald Kamara has told editors to re-engineer the narratives in the fight against corruption, and use their pen to develop a better Sierra Leone at a seminar hosted by the Commission for the Guild of Editors at Hill Valley Hotel. Mr. Kamara said the power wielded by journalists is enormous and that places them at a crucial position in building a better society by promoting development through advocacy for a corrupt-free Sierra Leone. He said the power of the pen should be used to right the wrongs, translate cultures for change of attitudes and behaviours, and monitor development. Journalists should constantly safeguard good governance, defend the security which they themselves enjoy, and create public space for debate and dialogue.
Commissioner Joseph F. Kamara and entourage with Guild of Editors at Hill Valley Hotel
The seminar for the Editors organized by the ACC was to re-energize the gatekeepers to continue to perform a leading role in the fight against graft. President for the Guild, Theo Harding said the seminar is a capacity building for his colleagues, who were trained on national and international anti-corruption legal instruments, the National Anti-Corruption Strategy 2014-2018, and the role of the media in the fight against corruption. According to Mr. Harding, capacity building workshops are hardly organized for editors, and ACC is the first to have conducted such a training for them.
ACC with Guild of Editors at Hill Valley Hotel
He told his colleagues to learn the dynamics of corruption and continue to play the expected role in the fight against corruption.
Independent Media Commission Chairman, Ambassador Alieu Kanu told the editors that corruption is a threat to the media, a threat to government and a threat to Sierra Leoneans. The fight is a national responsibility and therefore journalists should embark on investigative reporting to unearth information bearing on corruption.
Chairman of the seminar, Deputy Commissioner Shollay Davies said, ACC welcomes investigative journalism to provide leads to corrupt practices. He said the partnership with the Guild of Editors will encourage them to conduct assignments to dig into malpractices bordering on corruption. He encouraged them to come forward with evidence as a way of assisting the Commission in the fight. He said journalists have responsibility to their fellow citizens to provide correct and analytic information on issues such as corruption so that they can make informed judgment and take part in the change process.
ACC PRESENTS ANNUAL REPORT TO PRESIDENT KOROMA
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) on 6th July 2015 presented its 2014 Annual Report to His Excellency, President Ernest Bai Koroma, at a special occasion held at State House, Freetown, pursuant to Section 19 of the Anti-Corruption Act 2008.
In his address, ACC Commissioner, Joseph Fitzgerald Kamara, gave a general update on the fight against corruption, focusing on the issues of the new National Anti-Corruption Strategy, emphasizing on prevention as a major tool in the fight against corruption. He further underscored the successes of the Systems and Processes Review of the different MDAs in mainstreaming anti-corruption policies in governance.
In a related development at the same event, Chairman of the Advisory Board, Bishop Tamba Koroma, presented a cheque of Two Hundred and Sixteen Million Leones (Le: 216,000.000/00) as monies recovered by the ACC for the period under review.
In responding to the presentation, President Koroma welcomed the report and commended the ACC and the Commissioner for their efforts in the fight against corruption. Furthermore, the President emphasized the need for sustained systems and processes reviews of MDAs as a means of reducing corruption and improving efficiency in service delivery.
ACC INVESTIGATES PROCUREMENT PROCESSES OF THE 100 SLRTC BUSES
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) acknowledges with gratitude Government’s acquisition of 100 buses for the use of the general public. However, the public is hereby informed that prior to the arrival of the buses the ACC had commenced an investigation into the procurement processes.
Though the purchase of the buses ushered in a breath of relief upon the weight of the transportation burden on the people, the procurement processes cannot be said to be beyond censure.
The ACC welcomes the heightened public response and vigilance, consequent upon the “citizen’s audit”, advocated and promoted by the Commission. Officials of State are now subject to public scrutiny for the discharge of their functions.
Without prejudice to the ongoing investigations, our experience reveals that mis-procurement continues to be the bane of corruption. The use of “no objection letters” to waive procurement rules and regulations, under the guise of emergency, is reproachable.
The ACC urges the House of Parliament to pay close heed to the gaps which encourage the circumvention of procurement rules and regulations whilst considering the ongoing amendments of the National Public Procurement Act of 2004.
In a related development, the ACC also wishes to confirm to the general public that the procurement for Sierra Leone passports is also under investigation. Meanwhile, officials of the Ministry of Transport and Aviation, Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, Sierra Leone Road Transport Corporation, Ministry of Internal Affairs and The Immigration Department are cooperating and assisting the Commission with the investigations.
The general public is assured that the fight against corruption is key to good governance and the ACC remains unrelenting in that endeavor.
CITIZENS BUDGET WATCH SIERRA LEONE PRESENTS 2015 CITIZENS BUDGET PUBLICATION TO THE ACC
Mohamed Marsh Bangura, Executive Director of Citizen's Budget Watch presents 2015 Citizen Budget Publication to
ACC Commissioner, Joseph Fitzgerald Kamara
The Citizens Budget Watch Sierra Leone, a Civil Society Organization that seeks to enhance effective public service delivery through budget transparency and accountability in MDAs has presented its 2015 Citizens Budget publication to the Anti Corruption Commission(ACC) at the Commission’s Gloucester Street office in Freetown.
Receiving the publication, the Commissioner of the Anti Corruption Commission, Joseph Fitzgerald Kamara commended the organization for their role in advocating for transparency and accountability in the budgetary process. The Commissioner noted that the maiden edition of the publication will help to generate structural reforms and measures that will help to revive the economy for post Ebola recovery in Sierra Leone.
Earlier, Mohamed Marsh Bangura, Executive Director of Citizens Budget Watch Sierra Leone, in his presentation said the publication will give citizens the opportunity to get critical information on the strides being made by the government to support various sectors of the economy. Mr. Bangura said the publication will help the public to keep abreast with significant contributions donor partners have made to the country’s budget system. He maintained that the report will give the public the opportunity to ask relevant questions on how the budget cycle works. They have presented the publication to the ACC because they believe the Commission can help publicize their work as well as create awareness about government budgetary procedures.
JOSEPH F. KAMARA REAPPOINTED AS ACC CHIEF
ACC Commissioner, Joseph F. Kamara
President Ernest Bai Koroma has reappointed Joseph Fitzgerald Kamara to serve another five-year term as Commissioner of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC). A statement to ACC staff from the Executive Secretary of the Commission, Lydia Hastings-Spaine, reads:
“I write on the instructions of the Commissioner, Mr. Joseph Fitzgerald Kamara to inform you that it has pleased His Excellency the President, Dr Ernest Bai Koroma to reappoint him as Commissioner of the Anti-Corruption Commission for another term of five years. The Commissioner wishes to thank the Board, Management and Staff for their contribution and support and encourage all to continue in the spirit with the fight against corruption.”
Mr. Kamara’s first term expires in September this year. His reappointment did not come as a surprise to many people, especially so when the country has made consistent progress in the Transparency International Corruption Perception Index and the Mo Ibrahim Index during his term.
The Commission’s Public Education and Outreach Department has also heightened community and public awareness on issues of corruption, making transparency and accountability a subject of discussion in many forums across the country.
During his leadership, the Commission and the country have received many local and international accolades and awards for efforts in the fight against corruption in Sierra Leone. In addition, the ACC has improved internal controls in many ministries, departments and agencies of government through its systems and processes reviews. This has resulted in a corresponding increase of revenue in revenue generating institutions like the National Revenue Authority, Immigration Department, Ministry of Fisheries, National Registration Secretariat and Sierra Leone Road Safety Authority.
On the prosecution side the Commission continues to investigate and prosecute individuals for offences under the Anti-Corruption Act of 2008. This has seen a high conviction rate like the one hundred percent conviction rate achieved last year by the Commission.
Reacting to the news of his appointment, the Director of the Centre for Accountability and Rule of Law (CARL), Ibrahim Tommy, described this development as “good news in the fight against corruption in the country.” Mr. Tommy said Mr. Kamara has during his tenure personified the fight against corruption and has been well known across the country for his stance in the fight.
“This will give us an opportunity to implement the current National Anti-Corruption Strategy with the effectiveness that it deserves”, he said.