The Head Office of the Commission is housed at Cathedral House 3 Gloucester Street in Freetown. The Office of the Commissioner, Deputy Commissioner, Directors and 80% of the staff work at the Head Office. The Public Education, Systems and Processes Review and Intelligence, Investigations and Prosecution Departments are well represented.
PUBLIC EDUCATION AND OUTREACH DEPARTEMNT
REPORT ON FREE HEALTH CARE SENSITIZATION IN COLABORATION WITH EASTERN BEST JOGGERS
As Sierra Leone celebrated its 52nd independence day on the 27th April 2013, the Anti Corruption Commission climaxed the celebrations with an advocacy and awareness raising campaign on the Free Health Care Initiative (FHCI). The awareness raising campaign took the form of a jogging exercise from the Eastern bloc (Up-gun) to the Aberdeen Round About (Aberdeen Beach).
DEPUTY COMMISSIONER LEADING THE JOGGING EXERCISE:
Jogging is a great way to keep fit, and it is a social sport for all ages. The engagement and involvement of young people through music made the event not only an impressive moment but one that highlighted the importance of fighting corruption in a spectacular and interactive way.
DIRECTOR PUBLIC EDUCATION JOGGING ALONG ABACHA STREET:
Participants included about 250 youths (joggers) and ACC staff including the deputy commissioner and directors using innovative and interactive songs to make the public aware of corruption related issues in the free health care initiative, usage of electricity, love for the country, effective service delivery in NPA, the security sector – police, and other government institutions and facilities.
The two hundred and fifty (250) Eastern Best Joggers took the lead in the jogging exercise followed by ACC staff and Directors including 50 partners from the broad basket of ACC friends.
MR. MICHAEL SESAY CORDINATING THE JOGGING EXERCISE:
T-shirts with ACC and Irish Aid inscription were printed out and worn by every member (joggers) present.
Songs on corruption in all spheres of governance and community life were sung as the joggers moved along the streets of Freetown.
The exercise started at 7:30 am from Upgun Roundabout and took the following route:
Kissy Road, Sani Abacha Street, Wilberfoce Street, Siaka Steven Steven Street, Gloucester Street (ACC office to collect directors and other staff members) Lightfoot Boston Street, Waterloo Street, Siaka Steven Street, Sandas Street, Savage Street, Main Motor Road, Congo Cross, Willkinson Road, Sir Samuel Lewis Road to the final destination Family Kingdom Round-about
The jogging exercise was climaxed with statements made by the Director of Public Education and Outreach Department, Health for All Coalition (HFAC) representative, An Irish Aid Representative and the Deputy Commissioner of the ACC.
Mr. Shollay Davies, Director of Public Education and Outreach Department loudly appreciated every one present with special thanks to the Eastern Best Joggers Organization. Among the many things he said, was the importance of such an activity and the awareness created on the free health care program.
DIRECTOR PUBLIC EDUCATION MAKING A STATEMENTL
He mentioned the educative songs and their impact on the watching crowd on the roadsides. He encouraged the organization to engage the commission from time to time for more campaigns and sensitization. He concluded by saying that fighting corruption in Sierra Leone is a national task which means everybody should come on board and contributes to ensure Mama Salone becomes a corrupt free society.
Alhassan B Kamara, a representative from Health for All Coalition (HFAC) added his voice by also thanking youths for such a great initiative. He said the Free Health Care Initiative (FHCI) is their baby and they have done a series of monitoring to help in ensuring an effective implementation. He highlighted a few of the anomalies and issues of the program but also encouraged those present to cooperate to ensure that the drugs are distributed to the right people.
Madam Grace Harman, the gender and governance manager for Irish Aid expressed her satisfaction and excitement about the turn out of the exercise. She said Irish Aid is hosted by the Irish Embassy in Freetown. She said Ireland has invested 75 million euro in Sierra Leone since 2005. She highlighted the focus of Irish Aid with regards health and governance which she said Irish Aid has been supporting since 2010.
She added that the aim of Irish Aids support to the ACC is an effort to improve on domestic accountability mechanisms. Such support includes support for the conducting of reviews of systems and processes in the education, health and agriculture sectors and monitoring compliance in the implementation of the free health care initiative and school feeding programs. She also mentioned some of the findings of the ACC in the FHCI which according to her are serious concerns. These include but are not limited to:
a. Weak levels of accountability in the administration and distribution of drugs
b. Limited number of hospital staff on payroll to service hospitals
c. Inadequate remuneration and welfare package for staff
d. Untimely and inadequate funding
e. Logistic constraints.
Irish Aid, she concluded is very concerned about these and potential misuse of the resources of the FHCI and she reaffirmed support to ACC in the sensitization drive. She mentioned that Irish Aid remains committed to improving accountability mechanisms in the country which includes supporting the Ministry of Health and Sanitation in its drive to reform the health care system and health service delivery in the country.
The Deputy Commissioner was the final speaker and his statements opened with series of questions among them were, “Is ACC a witch hunting institution?” the crowd shouted “NO” he asked again “Is ACC a bad institution?” the crowd again shouted “NO” and he finally asked “if ACC is an unfriendly place to work?” The crowd shouted again “NO! ACC is a very nice place to work and the people there are also nice individuals.”
DEPUTY COMMISSIONER ACC MAKING A STATEMENT:
The Deputy Commissioner confirmed to the crowd that he was happy that youths have now identified themselves with the right institution in the country. He said the jogging exercise exceeded his expectations and encouraged the Eastern Best Joggers to come close to the commission to work and cooperate in the fight against corruption in Sierra Leone. He said that the event would go down history and the songs and chanting during the jogging exercise communicated precisely the message of the ACC to the people of Sierra Leone. He concluded his statement by shouting “CORRUPTION” and the crowd responded “E DO SO”
There was a lot of excitement, education and awareness during the jogging exercise. A few individuals within the crowd that were listening to the songs during the exercise thought it was good as they were able to learn a few things through the exercise.
To this end, I would like to suggest that similar sporting programs be held at least once every quarter. The benefit the commission poses to enjoy is that once people become more aware, they would want to be involved and participate more actively in the fight against corruption.
PUBLIC EDUCATION AND OUTREACH DEPARTMENT
OUTREACH MEETING WITH DON BOSCO FABUL AT THEIR
FORT STRREET HEADQUATER, FREETOWN -
TUESDAY 5TH FEBRUARY 2013
1. Miss Glennis Frazer
2. Mr. Samson J Saidu
3. Mr. John Tawarally
4. Mr. Joseph Kangaju
5. Miss Koma Nancy Yeawa Gandy-Williams – Intern, Fourah Bay College
6. Mr. Mamadau Tamba Barrie - Lead Coordinator, GYAC
As part of the mandate of the Public Education and Outreach Department to educate the public on the issue of corruption, the Department in collaboration with other Departments of the Commission including Anti Corruption Commission Interactive Forum (ACCIF) and Global Youth Against Corruption (GYAC) held an outreach meeting with the Don Bosco Fambul on Tuesday 5th February 2013 at their headquarter at Fort Street, Freetown.
The main purpose of the meeting was to educate the beneficiaries, teachers, workers and inhabitants of the community on the evils of corruption and the benefit of of a corrupt free society; as well as solicit their support and cooperation in the fight against corruption.
Brother Lother Wagner who is the Director of Don Bosco Fambul, welcoming the ACC team told the audience that he came to know about the operations of the Commission through the media and their outreach meetings they usually hold for street children at Wallace Johnson Street, adjacent the ACC Headquarter. Bro. Wagner noted that corruption is everywhere and that corruption has devastating effects on vulnerable children especially street children who are faced with various contacts with the police. He affirmed their eagerness to work with the Commission, and thereby assured the Commission of their commitment in the fight against corruption.
Brother Lother Wagner, the Director of Don Bosco Fambul welcoming the ACC team
The Chairperson, Mr. Samuel Thomas Bojohn who is the Deputy Director of Don Bosco Fambul expressed positive sentiments for the visit which he said is timely and very important for the students and staff of Don Bosco Fambul to know what constitutes corruption. Mr. Bojohn said most of the students and staff of their organization have heard about the Commission but have little knowledge on the role the Commission plays in the fight against corruption. He said that at the end of the meeting, most of them would have heard better understanding of the Commission. He informed the audience that this is an opportune time for them to know what constitutes corruption and how to prevent it. He entreated the ACC team that their doors are always open to the Commission since they both believe in the same drive using the preventive, education and prosecution methods.
Speaking on the role of Public Education and Outreach Department, Miss Glennis Frazer, expressed her appreciation for the large turnout. Highlighting the purpose of the meeting, Ms. Frazer told the audience that the Department is mandated to educate the public on the work of the Commission as well as the causes and effects of corruption. She gave a brief background of the Commission and how corruption affects the society. She said the Department uses both institutional and community based approaches to reach the public. She mentioned various strategies the Commission uses to reach the public for which outreach campaign is an essential component; adding that through such meetings the public will have official information on the work of the Commission, clarifies certain public misconception, as well as creating venue for cooperation and partnership. She admonished the audience that the Department engaged the youths about moral values and integrity especially school children, so that when they grow up they would become good citizens. In conclusion, she admonished them to refrain from corrupt practices and to report any instances of corruption either at institutional or community levels.
Speaking on the role of Systems and Processes Review Department, Mr. Samson J Saidu, said that the Department is the preventive section of the Commission as they are responsible to review systems, procedures and policies of government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in order to facilitate the discovery of corrupt practices and monitor recommendations proffered by the Systems and Processes Review Unit of the Commission. Mr. Saidu mentioned some of the government MDAs that have been reviewed. He also spoke on best practice guides on public auction and the use of government and donor funds. On the monitoring and compliance, he revealed that many MDAs have been monitored to see that they implement the recommendations. He further said that they have embarked on both proactive and reactive interventions in both the public and private sectors setting the stage for subsequent policy reforms. He informed the audience on the service charters and codes of practice that have been established in various government departments. He said the main purpose of these service charters is to enhance good service delivery and minimize corrupt practices. In conclusion, he called on the administration of Don Bosco Fambul to monitor any project that is meant for them as the recipients or beneficiaries as the Anti Corruption Act 2008 also covers the work of Non Governmental organizations.
Mr. Samson J. Saidu deliberating on Systems and Processes Review Department
Mr. Joseph Kangaju explaining on the investigations, Intelligence and Prosecution of the Commission said that the Department is divided into three units: the Investigation Unit charged with the duties to investigate alleged corruption complaints, the Intelligence Unit tasked with the responsibilities to gather intelligence from the public and the Prosecution Unit responsible to prosecute matters in court.
Mr. Kangaju explaining some of the offences and fines under the AC Act 2008
He informed the audience that the Commission fights corruption in a vigorous manner as it leaves no stone unturned until corruption becomes a thing of the past. He said the Commission is serious in the fight against corruption because corruption hinders development and has negative impact on poor communities or organizations. Mr. Kangaju explained some of the offences, fines and punishment by placing emphasis on misappropriation of government/donor funds and properties, violation of procurement procedures, soliciting, receiving and accepting an advantage, impending investments among others. He highlighted some of the instances on how people are involved in corrupt practices and how they sometimes neglect certain procedures and policies. Finally, he cautioned the administration of Don Bosco Fambul to take note of some of the corrupt offences so that they do not fall into the ACC net.
Mr. Mamadu Tamba Barrie, Lead Coordinator of the Global Youth Anti Corruption Organization (GYAC) gave a brief history of their organization and upon the provision it was founded. Mr. Barrie said that their organization do believe in working with the Commission to sensitize the public on the work of the Commission. He said it is good to target the youth and educate them on the issues of corruption and how to stay out of it. He called on the staff of Don Bosco Fambul that as an independent body which target street children they should be mindful of the fact that they are using donor funds and that they should ensure that the funds are used judiciously. He admonished the audience to inculcate the tenets of integrity and wholesomeness.
Ms. Koma Gandi-Williams, Fourah Bay College Intern in her contribution, explained the ways of making report to the Commission, which goes through the report center that are responsible to receive complaints from the public. Ms. Williams spoke on how reports are received and how they are processed before they are sent to the Complaint Review Committee for perusal. She distinguished between corrupt practices that fall under the Anti Corruption Act 2008 and those that do not. She added that those that fall under the AC Act 2008 are sent to the investigations Unit and those that do not are referred to other government institutions for actions to be taken. The Intern explained various channels for making complaints and how to reach the Commission. She cautioned them on malicious complaints as it is an offence under the AC Act 2008. At the end, she implored them to help the Commission as they act as whistleblowers in their community by making reports to the ACC.
Distribution of education and communication materials also formed part of the programme.
• Why has the commission failed to pay the 10% to whistleblowers after conviction and recovery?
• Why is the punishment not equal to the crime committed, as in the case of the mayor of Freetown?
• How independent is the Commission from government influence?
• If the commission is corrupt who or which department investigates them?
• Has the commission jailed anyone and how many convictions have we secured?
DETAILED REPORT ON TOWN HALL MEETING WITH THE DISTRICT HEALTH MANAGEMENT TEAM (DHMT), COMMUNITY HEALTH OFFICERS (CHOs), NURSES AND KEY HEALTH STAKEHOLDERS IN TONKOLILI DISTRICT AT THE OUTPATIENT HALL, PRIMARY HEALTH CARE COMPLEX MAGBURAKA.
The Anti-Corruption Commission which is the main conduit in combating graft in Sierra Leone has continued to engage different entities that constitute the pillars of integrity on specific issues that have the potential to derail the development aspirations of the country. On that note, the Commission has endeavoured to promote its relations with the public by providing relevant and timely public education programmes and information about ACC and its activities and to enlist and foster public support in combating corruption
In view of the above, the Commission has held an awareness raising and sensitization meeting with staff of District Health Management Team (DHMT), health workers, traditional leaders, beneficiaries of the Free Health Care (FHC) programme, key health stakeholders and students of the Maternal Child Health Aid Training School (MCH Aid) in Magburaka.
The Primary Health Care Unit Social Mobilization Officer Mr. Aiah Sam chaired the meeting. In his statement, he heaped praises on the Commission for her good work, noting that it has heightened public awareness on corruption and corruption related issues across the country. Mr. Sam entreated participants to support the Commission to combat graft for the good of the country.
Welcoming the participants to the meeting, the Kholifa Rowalla Chiefdom Speaker Pa Alimamy Koroma who represented the Paramount Chief thanked the Commission for its resilience in ensuring that graft is wiped out in the health sector. Pa Koroma assured the Commission of their unflinching support to monitor the implementation of the Free Health Care programme so that the beneficiaries would get the optimum services required.
Mr. Abdulai Saccoh-District Coordinator, Tonkolili
Mr. Al-Hassan Sesay –Public Education Officer
Mr. Patrick Sandi- Regional Manager North
Mr. Osman Bassie Bangura-Driver
Date: 20th JUNE 2012
In his address, the District Coordinator Tonkolili Mr. Abdulai Saccoh expressed gratitude on behalf of the Commission to the participants for the commitment they have demonstrated to partner with ACC to stamp out graft in the health sector. Dilating on the purpose of the meeting, he said the meeting was meant to sensitize community members, beneficiaries, key health stakeholders and health workers on the Free Health Care (FHC) for them to abundantly understand and collaborate with the Commission in a bid to address the challenges that inhibit the successful implementation of the policy particularly where it has to do with corruption related issues.
Mr. Saccoh maintained that the meeting was also to enlighten them on how corrupt practices can negatively impact on the district health care service delivery system. The Coordinator, Mr. Saccoh emphasized that combating corruption especially in the health sector should be the concern of all patriotic Sierra Leoneans as it negative ramifications are indiscriminate.
Giving an overview of the Free Health Care, the District Medical Officer (DMO) Tonkolili Dr. Sartie M. Kenneh told participants that the initiative started in 2010 as an intervention by government to address the problems of high infant and maternal mortality rate in the country. Dr. Kenneh said the scheme was designed to cater for the three categories of vulnerable people namely: lactating mothers, children under five, and pregnant women, a measure employed to drastically reduce the acute child and maternal mortality. He stated that since the commencement of the programme these people mentioned above have been receiving free health treatment of all kinds including, anti natal service, immunization, HIV/ AIDS, delivery, post natal, cesarean operations with no consultation fees etc.
The District Medical Officer emphasized that since the introduction of the programme, they have experienced tremendous increase in the number of people accessing the health facilities noting that has reduced preventable death among these people. Highlighting some of the challenges in the implementation of the initiative are: theft of drugs and medical equipment, frequent shortage of drugs, lack of personnel at the Magburaka Government hospital, Peripheral Health Units (PHUs) and Community Health Centres (CHCs), no vehicle for the distribution of drugs to the various PHUs and CHCs across the district and lack of reagents and medical implements. The DMO opined that amidst these challenges that have bedeviled the implementation of the FHC, it has been a success as some of the shortfalls have now been addressed. One of such action taken was the introduction of the channel system to address the theft of drugs and medical implements.
In his statement, the Medical Superintendent Magburaka Government Hospital Dr. Christian Ayodele Pratt said the implementation of the Free Health Care is on its right path. Consequently, they as medical practitioners have been doing their work within the ambit of the policy of administering free health services of all kind to the three categories of people catered for in the programme Dr Pratt said. He said the initiative is a laudable one but a lot more needed to be done if the desired goal was to be achieved.
Dr. Pratt encouraged the men to support their wives during pregnancy and the community people to donate blood in the bid to save lives.
Free Health Care Beneficiary Zainab Kamara said, before the introduction of the Free Health Care accessing the health facilities was difficult due to the huge financial commitment involved. But with the advent of the FHC, they have experienced massive improvement in the treatment received at health facilities which are free of cost. She called on the government and donor partners to do more in order to continue saving their lives.
Peripheral Health Units representative Adam Sarah Sesay said amidst the challenges that confront them in the smooth implementation of the scheme, they will continue to do their utmost to ensure that the dream of His Excellency Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma is achieved.
Chairman Health Committee at the Tonkolili District Council, Councilor Ramata Mansaray told participants that even though there were hiccups at the initial stage of the FHC implementation, Council have been working closely with the health sector not only to monitor the process but also to ensure that some of the challenges bedeviling the process were addressed. She stated that in spite of the numerous improvements that have taken place, certain strata of workers needed to be employed for smooth implementation of the policy such as, drivers, porters, nurses and cleaners.
Councilor Mansaray pledged Council’s support to the programme and promised upholding the good initiative of the Free Health Care Programme to improve the lives of the poor.
Coordinator, Health for All Coalition (HFAC) Tonkolili Sallieu B. Conteh lauded the initiative of the Free Health Care noting that it geared towards reducing the suffering of the masses. He stated that as civil society group they have endeavoured to monitor the implementation of the programme. The Coordinator highlighted some of the ways they conducted their monitoring by categorizing them i.e.:F1 patient user fees: they look at staff attendance, District Health Management Team (DHMT) visit, ambulance services etc, F2 to monitor the activities of the hospital and it staff, F3 to ensure that food stuff supply reaches the beneficiaries, F4 patient satisfaction and F5 to monitor offloading of drugs and medical supply. Mr. Conteh maintained that their work was not to witch hunt anyone but rather was a way of ensuring that health workers comply with the laid down laws.
Anti-Corruption Commission Regional Manager North, Mr. Patrick Sandi said combating corruption should be the duty of all citizens noting that ACC alone cannot succeed in this fight without the support of the public. As such, the Commission has endeavoured to work in partnership with other pillars of integrity to enhance quality service delivery. The Manager underscored the role of health practitioners which he said is crucial to the country’s development aspiration. Speaking on the offences and penalties as contained in the 2008 Act, the Regional Manger North Mr. Patrick Sandi told participants that the Commission has the mandate to investigate all forms of corruption; no matter the amount of money or individual involved. Some of the offences he explained are: Offering soliciting or accepting advantage, Misappropriation of public funds, Misappropriation of donor funds, Protection of public property and revenue, Gift, Abuse of office, Abuse of position, and Possession of unexplained wealth.
Mr. Sandi maintained that these laws are not made by the Commission but rather by the people of this country through Parliament. The Manager went on to state that the punishment for such offences is a fine not less than thirty (30) million Leones or imprisonment for not less than (3) years or suffer both fine and prison term. The penalty for gifts he went on is a fine not less than fifty million Leones, or the offender would be asked to pay five times the value of the gift solicited and accepted whichever one is greater. Mr. Sandi implored the participants to join the Commission to eradicate graft in their community so that the nation can take it rightful place among well meaning countries of the world.
Public Education Officer North Mr. Alhassan Sesay said, corruption is one major disease that has eaten into the fabrics of this country’s institutional make up. Mr. Sesay maintained that as health workers they should work in the interest of the people so that the desired result of the Free Health Care would be achieved. He told them that the easiest way to join the Commission in this fight is to resist, reject and report corruption. Reports can be made through the following ways: in-person, letter, email and telephone. He noted that in as much as the Commission is encouraging everyone to make reports of suspected corrupt practices, he cautioned them not to make false report as the punishment is a fine not less than five million Leones or not less than six months imprisonment or suffer both. He informed them of the 10% reward for any information provided that will lead to recovery and assured them of protection for informers. Mr. Sesay read out the mobile hotlines for Headquarter, Northern Region office and that of the District Coordinator which can be used to make reports to the Commission. He also indicated that the hot line are free of cost and are always on.
11/04/2012 - RERORT ON FIRST QUARTERLY UPDATE WITH CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANIZATIONS AND THE MEDIA
As it is part of the Anti-Corruption Commission’s strategic objective of association and coalition building in the fight against corruption, the Commission has on Wednesday 11th April held its first quarterly update with Civil Society Organizations (CSO’s) and the media at the Cathedral Hall, Freetown.
The aim of the meeting was to update representatives of Civil Society Organizations and the media in the Western Area about the work of the Commission in the first quarter of 2012 in carrying out its departmental as well as the Commission’s strategic plan. It was expected that the meeting will furnish members of CSOs and the media with comprehensive knowledge about activities of the Commission for the first quarter of 2012.
Delivering the welcome address, Mr. Morlai Buya Kamara, Deputy Commissioner thanked the CSOs and the Media for the overwhelming support they are rendering to the Commission in the fight against graft in Sierra Leone. Mr. Kamara said it is the tradition of the Commission from time to time to update them on the operations and activities of the Commission. The Deputy Commission affirmed that the media has been very useful in publishing issues relating to corruption, even though some of them are incomplete and some speak in favour of the Commission. “As a public office, whatever it does has to be made public, and that it is incumbent on the Commission to keep the CSOs and the Media abreast of any recent development.” Mr. Kamara maintained. In conclusion, he informed the audience that the Commission has done quite a lot considering what all the departments did during this quarter.
Mr. Maurice Williams, Director Systems and Processes Review Department dilating on the work of the department for this quarter said that since he was assigned to oversee the work of the department in September 2011, quite a lot of things have happened. Mr. Williams said that in line with the department’s mandate they have engaged various government MDAs in Freetown and the provinces with the aim of examining and reviewing of systems and procedures in order to eradicate or minimize corruption opportunities. For the first quarter in 2012, the Director told the audience that the department is presently monitoring the implementation of recommendations proffered for the Ministry of Works, Housing and Infrastructure, especially issues that deal with allocation of government quarters, the use of government properties etc. Mr. Williams disclosed that one key area presently under review is the University of Sierra Leone which constitutes the constituent colleges of Fourah Bay College, Institute of Public Administration and the College of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences. These constituent arms of the University have been suffering from a very bad image for a very long time with issues relating to admissions, other improprieties and irregularities. He furthered that there are also plans of reviewing the Njala University. He also said that the Ministry of Lands, Country Planning and the Environment is under focus as there had been numerous reports of corruption from the media, the ACC Report Center and the public. Mr. Williams told the audience that the Commission is presently holding consultative meetings with the ministry as the department is presently working on a service charter which will serve as a clientele. The Director also disclosed that two covert observations had been carried out at the Births and Death Department and the Lungi International Airport to ensure that they implement the recommendations proffered by the department. He also maintained that the department has also developed keen interest in the Free Health Care Initiative, which as he puts it, is a very sensitive program and that the commission has been receiving series of complaints from the public revealing the fact that the system is somehow suffering from adverse intervention form ill-motivated and ill intention persons. Mr. Williams noted that, “The department is presently engaging health centers to publish their fees and charges so that they can be monitored for improved service delivery to the public.
Mr. Shollay Davies, Director Public Education and Outreach Department, in his presentation said that the update is part of the department’s engagement with CSOs and the Media in every quarter. Mr. Davies disclosed that have been engaged in two major strategies i.e. public education and outreach campaigns. For this first quarter, the Director said four customized meetings have been held targeting specific audiences and institutions. Mr. Davis continued that as part of the department’s mandate is to hold one engagement every week in all regions. He revealed that two of those engagements were with the Ministry of Lands Housing and the Environment and the Sierra Leone Police. He said the meetings were successful as there were agreements to establish a panel of partners to look at issues of concern raised by members of the public. Mr. Davies stated that the Commission has also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Global Youth Against Corruption in Sierra Leone (GYAC-SL). The aim for such initiative was to assemble all youth organizations in the country in order to map out strategy for youth participation in the fight against corruption. He informed the audience of other MOUs signed with the Anti Corruption Consultative Interactive Forum (ACCIF) and Health For All Coalition (HFAC). The Director asserted that the media especially electronic and print media have been very instrumental in the fight against corruption to an extent that a group of journalist formed the Media Alliance Against Corruption (MAAC), a group of journalist popularizing the work of the Commission. Added to these activities, he said the department has been using various multimedia devices to inform the public on recent development. Over the past two months the department has been updating the commission’s website with current information. He maintained that that the department has also produced series of public service announcements of upcoming activities of the Commission. Mr. Davis said in 2011, the Commission won an international Award of Excellence organized by IAAC in Hong Kong in which thirty one countries participated. “If the ACC has been recognized national and internationally is as a result of the level of public awareness raised over the period” the Director reaffirmed. He said the regional offices and the District Coordinators have also been engaging various communities and institutions at district and regional levels. He concluded by stating that the work of the PE&EO Department is very wide and tactful, but believed in the success of the Commission within the period under review.
Mr. Nabillahi Kamara, Director, National Anti Corruption Strategy Secretariat (NACS) giving a brief background of the Secretariat said that the NACS was established as a result of consultative processes with stake holders all over the country. Mr. Kamara said the NACS was established in 2008 and reached its mid-point in 2011; it was later reviewed and revised by a group of consultants. The Director informed the audience that the NACS revised copy has been presented to the President in October 2011 after the completion of its review process, as a road map in the national fight against corruption. Mr. Kamara said the objectives of the Secretariat is to improve delivery of social services in terms of quality, quantity and process, ensure that the fight against corruption was effective in preventing and confronting corruption without compromising peace and security and playing the leading role in providing the courage for citizens to regard corruption as destructive. He said the first step was to engage the public on the objectives of the strategy and in fulfilling the objectives they have held series of meetings with the entire public sector in the country in a bid to ensure the implementation of the strategy. Through such collaboration with the Secretary to cabinet a consensus has been reached for the establishment of integrity committees in government MDAs, and that 2ous government MDAs6 integrity committees have established in vari Mr. Kamara confirmed that the secretariat have also held meetings with Civil Society Monitoring Group (CSMG) to ensure the monitoring process of the implementation stage. Mr. Kamara noted that the outcome of the meetings have revealed series of challenges from both MDAs and CSMG regarding the monitoring process of the implementation of the strategy. He disclosed that those challenges have been addressed. The Director informed the audience that the Secretariat is presently engaged in implementing the UNCAC Review mechanism through a comprehensive self assessment checklist through broad consultation at national level with all other relevant stake holders. “As I am speaking, the UNCAC is presently looking at Sierra Leone’s compliance with UNCAC policy; and that two countries: Thailand and Benin have been chosen to monitor the direct implementation process and the team will be visiting the provinces to have consultation in respect of the process,” the Director reaffirmed.
Mr. Michael Imran Kanu, speaking on behalf of the Investigations, Intelligence and Prosecution Department said that is mandated to investigate and prosecute allegations of corruption reported to the Commission. Mr. Kanu stated that the three units work in collaboration to carry out their functions. The Legal Officer disclosed that for this quarter the department received a total of 171 cases that are under investigation, 23 of which are active cases in court. Twenty six new cases are now under investigation, 30 have been concluded, 7 cases have been forwarded to the Prosecution wing for legal opinion, whilst others are kept in view and some referred for administrative actions. Specifically, Mr. Kanu furthered, that for the active cases in court, prosecution has closed its cases for 5 trials, 3 cases adjourned and are awaiting judgments. He outlined some of these cases are as follow:
• State vs William Conteh and others in respect of the 50th years Anniversary case, proceedings in ongoing
• As for the Timber case, the Prosecution has closed its case and there was no case submission file for the two accused persons and that the Prosecution is awaiting for the presiding judge’s decision.
• State vs the Mayor of Freetown and others in respect of the Freetown City Council case, the Prosecution has closed and the Defense is now opened.
• State vs. Isaac K Sheriff which is being prosecuted in Bo High Court relating to corrupt activities in the Imperi Chiefdom, the Prosecution has opened its case and now leading its first witness.
• State vs. Osman Tamu Bangura, the case has been assigned to a new judge for recommencing.
• Staete vs. Gibril Gbassay Bah and four others which is being prosecuted at the Makeni High Court, the prosecution has applied for special session, the prosecution so that they can complete the submission of addresses. He said in criminal cases, trials are scheduled to be prosecuted in session, especially when the presiding judge had been transferred.
• State vs. Raymond Yokie is being prosecuted at the Bo High Court, trials have been concluded and now waiting for the prosecution and defense to submit their addresses. State vs Ibrahim Sannoh is beng prosecuted at the Makeni High Court. Prosecution is in progress.
• State vs. Saidu Bangura and Konga Mano Sesay, indictment signed and now awaiting assignment by the Chief Justice.
• State vs Nimatu Bundu in respect of the Freetown City Council case, prosecution is in progress and ongoing.
• State vs Tamba Charles and others in respect of the Freetown Waist Management, case has been concluded, adjourned for addresses from both the prosecution and defense.
• State vs Mark George, trials are concluded awaiting judgment.
• State vs Donald Coker and Moses Vandi, trials concluded and awaiting judgement.
• State vs Edward Yamba Koroma and others in respect of the Rice Research Rokupr case, trials concluded and awaiting judgement.
In the Court of Appeal in Freetown, Mr. Kanu outlined some of the cases:
• Joseph Sewoh and Kamara appealed against the Commission in which written argument have been submitted by both parties and the matter is now reserved for judgment.
• Appellate case of Alimu Bah against the Commission, written submissions had been made and now awaiting judgment.
• Appellate case of Hja Afsatu Kabbah against the Commission – submissions are due on the 19th May 2012.
• Appellate case of Philip Lukule against the Commission awaits direction for submission and it is pending.
• Appellate case of Magistrate Fisher – the appellant has done a notice of intention to appeal, the case is pending.
• Anti Corruption appellate case aginst Allieu Sesay and others awaits records to be settled in this case.
• ACC appellate case against Mohamed Sallieu Jalloh which was prosecuted in Makeni High Court awaits records to be settled.
In his conclusion, the Legal Officer told the audience that the Prosecution Unit of the Commission also has the mandate or obligation to follow up with all affiliate proceedings.
Delivering the key note address, Mr. Joseph Fitzgerald Kamara, thanked representatives of CSOs, the Media and Government MDAs for their continued support in the fight against corruption. Mr. Kamara said it is incumbent on the Commission to report its activities of the public. “It is also the mandate of the Commission to be accountable and transparent to the public, keep you abreast of the information and activities of the Commission and then give the opportunity to ask questions regarding its work”, Mr. Kamara noted. The Commissioner reiterated that the fight against corruption is not the fight of the commission but a national fight. “By virtue of the nature of the fight against corruption what is needed is something beyond the realm of reality but the realm of spirituality” Mr. Kamara maintained. highlighting some of the active cases in court, the Commissioner said the FCC case is a high profile one for the Commission and the country. He disclosed that the Commission has led credible evidence in court and have closed the case for the prosecution. He also mentioned the case of the 50th Anniversary Recalling the issue surrounding the misappropriation of funds high marking the celebration. He assured the audience of its speedy conclusion. He frowned at some publications from the media especially the print on cases under investigations or being prosecuted in court which he said have negative impact in the fight against corruption. He maintained that the Commission does not intend to run commentaries on cases under investigations. He informed them that the Commission has been working on those high profile cases and that the Commission is at the point of satisfaction; and that the media thirst for information will be quenched within a very short while. Mr. Kamara assured the audience that the Commission has made significant progress in the work that it does in the fight against corruption by highlighting key activities carried out by various departs during this first quarter.. “The Commission is now all over the country, keeping on reporting that through decentralization corruption will be centralized and we have to follow as it is even at local district level; its presence has been maintained and we have seen significant benefit out of its presence” he said. He also observed that from the National Corruption Perception survey that was conducted, the public has responded for public education to be enhanced, particularly in terms of the impact of corruption. He called on all to have a stake in preventing corruption and to work together in partnership in the fight. The Commissioner noted the support of MAAC, GYAC, ACCIF, HFAC, the Audit Service Sierra Leone, and National Public Procurement Authority among others for their relentless support to the Commission. He revealed that the Commission has a minimum of four cases that are generated out of the Audit Service reports. “Today in Sierra Leone we are going to ensure that there is proper accountability for government funds. We are going through those Audit reports and all those that have responsibility and questions to answer after the Public Account Committee from Parliament, let them be sent to the ACC and we will find a resting place for them” the Commissioner affirmed. Talking on the progress and international recognition, Mr. Kamara said the Millennium Challenged Conference reported the significant progress that Sierra Leone has made in the fight against corruption. He added that the United Nations Security Council report also indentified the role and functions of the ACC in its stance against corruption. “Our ACC under my tenure will ensure that we continue to inform the public in terms of our role, what we do and where we stand on the issue” Mr. Kamara concludes.
Questions, Comments and recommendations also formed part of the deliberation.
MOBILIZING PEOPLE: CONNECTING AGENTS OF CHANGE
15TH INTERNATIONAL ANTI-CORRUPTION CONFERENCE (IACC) ENDS IN BRASILIA, BRAZIL
The IACC is the world premier forum that brings together heads of state, civil society, the private sector and more to tackle the increasing sophisticated challenges posed by corruption. The idea for the conference first arose among a number of anti-corruption law enforcement agencies, including Hong Kong’s Independent Commission Against Corruption, the Inspector General for the District of Columbia (Washington D.C.) and the New York City Department of Investigations.
Initially, the focus was on law enforcement issues relating to finding solutions on how to develop strategies and tactics to investigate and deter official corruption. The scope of the conference grew quickly to involve the entire spectrum of stakeholders in its effort to combat corruption and fraud throughout the world.
The IACC which takes place every two years, draws attention to corruption by raising awareness and stimulating debate. It fosters the global exchange of experience and methodologies in controlling corruption. It further helps to promote international cooperation among agencies and citizens from all parts of the world, and helping to develop personal relationships by providing the opportunity for face-to-face dialogue and direct liaison between representatives and facilitators at the conference.
DELEGATES AT THE CONFERENCE
The conference attracted over 135 countries with up to 1500 participants from the most sophisticated anti-corruption agencies all over the world. Heads of State, civil society, academics, journalists, business and government representatives were in attendance.
The Sierra Leone delegation with the Commissioner, Joseph Fitzgerald Kamara, and the founder of TI, Peter Eigen, at the center
The Sierra Leone delegation comprised of three anti-corruption institutions; the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), Transparency International (TI) Chapter in Sierra Leone and Global Youth Against Corruption (GYAC). The ACC delegation was headed by the Commissioner, Mr. Joseph Fitzgerald Kamara, accompanied by the Director of Public Education and Outreach, Mr. Shollay Davies, and the Director of Finance, Mr. Sheku Kanu.
The 15th International Anti-Corruption Conference (IACC) ended in Brasilia, Brazil with much speculations to end impunity in the world on corruption. This year’s conference has as its theme; “Mobilizing People: Connecting Agents of Change.”
At the opening ceremony, various speakers from government and anti-corruption campaigners spoke very passionately about how to make corruption unacceptable. The Hon. Justice Barry O’Keefe, Chair of the International Anti-Corruption Conference council, reflected on the conclusion of the 14th IACC in Bangkok, Thailand by restating that “Empowered people create change. We recognize that involving people needs time, fresh new ideas and a vibrant civil space. Our role should be to support the people who are willing to change the rules of the game.” These words actually set the stage for the fulfillment of the 15th IACC in Brasilia with renewed commitment to deal with corruption at the global revel.
Making her statement at the conference opening session, the Chair, Transparency International, Huguette Labelle, said that corruption is the single major threat that is destroying our countries. We need clean governments from central to local level and a strong resistance for impunity, she said. Cataloguing the events of the Arab Spring to the Indian Summer and the Occupy Movement, she said that there were many causes behind these demonstrations, but public frustration at corruption and unacceptable leadership was a common thread. Everyone, she said, should be able to speak out against the injustices of corruption. The TI Chair concluded with a fundamental question of “how can we end the devastating effects of corruption around the world?” Much progress has been made in the fight against the scourge but there can be no impunity for the corrupt, no safe heavens, no exceptions to the law. Until this is achieved, our fight must continue, she said.
Other speakers who spoke on measures to deal with corruption at the opening session was the Head of the Office of the Comptroller General, Brazil , Minister Jorge Hage Sobrinho. According to him, key to the strategies undertaken was the passing of the Access to Information Law and the involvement of civil society in the anti-corruption agenda.
The conference was organized around thematic discussion of various issues in the anti-corruption landscape after the opening. This was co-organized by UNDP together with other partners, who participated in interesting discussions on corruption and anti-corruption. Delegates were free to attend any of the sessions that were of interest to them. The following were the topics for the various plenary sessions;
DAY 1. 7/10/12
• Global Solutions against Corruption
• Mobilizing People: Connecting Agents of Change. Are we Ready?
• Ending Impunity: Are we any closer?
• Powerless to Powerful: Arming citizens to fight corruption in defence and security
• Fight Corruption: Online Tools and Best Practices
• Enlisting Business Education to Combat Corruption: A Global Initiative
• Mobilizing citizens to monitor and report corruption cases in the delivery of aid and basic services
• Does Immunity Lead to Impunity?
• Illicit Financial Flows from Africa-Bleeding a Deprived Continent
• Mobilizing People: Connecting Agents of Change in the oil and mining sectors
• Out of Bounds: Identifying, disrupting and preventing the infiltration of organized crime
DAY 2. 8/10/12
• Collective Action-Making Integrity Work for Business
• Tools, Systems and good practices in CSO Transparency and Accountability
• Corruption in Education: Transparency in the Targeting and Management of Pro-Poor Incentives
• Mainstreaming Gender and Incorporating Grassroots Women’s Perspectives in Global Anti-Corruption Initiatives and Agendas
• Media as Agents of Change: Exposing Corruption, Empowering People
• Preventing the Risks of Corruption in REDD+Financing
• Bringing Closed-Door Dealings to Light: How Transparency Can Change Lobbying Practices
• Corruption and Transformation in the Arab Region: Changing Landscapes and New Horizons
• After Rio+20: On the Way to Green and Clean Governance?
• Corruption in Sports: What’s the Penalty for Society?
• Globalizing the Fight Against Corruption: How MDBs are doing it?
• Challenges and Innovations on Local and Sector-Specific Indexes
• Utilizing International Transparency and Anti-Corruption Standards to Advance Domestic Policy
• Open Government Partnership: Empowering Citizens through Transparency and Civic Participation
• Open Contracting: Driving Development through Disclosure and Participation
• Changing the Rules of the Game: What Rules for Whistleblowers?
• Human Rights and Combating Corruption: Synergies and Solutions to Overcome Impunity
• Connecting Networks for Change: Lessons and Opportunities from the Rise of Transparency and Accountability Networks
• Left out of the Bargain: Settlements in Foreign Bribery Cases
• Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests, Making a Difference with Global Governance Frameworks
• Combating Corruption in the Private Sector: Eliminating Impunity through Corporate Anti-Corruption Programmes
• Strengthening Transparency in Political Financing through Innovative Methods of Electoral Observation and Oversight
DAY 3. 9/10/12
• On-line Civic Innovation against Corruption-New Technology to Solve an Old Problem
• Challenges of Legislative Transparency
• Transparency and Accountability: Building a Diverse Coalition of Change
• Whistling Around the World: Growing and International Movement to Connect Whistleblowers with Investigative Journalists
• Enforcing Anti-Corruption Laws-Time for a New Model?
• Putting Governance Back in the MDGs: Tackling Corruption at its Roots in the Post-2025 Agenda
• International Development and Illicit Financial Flows: What to Do?
• After the Transition: The Role of People Power in Dismantling Entrenched Corruption, and Consolidating Democracy, Accountable
Governance and Sustainable Peace
• Dirty Money: A Stolen Future. How to Restore People’s Trust?
• Opening Government for the People: Targeted Transparency Policies for Better Public Service
• Are We Winning or Failing in the Fight against Corruption?
• Transparency as Part of Security Policies-Cases from Latin America
• Access to Information- Going Beyond Laws
• Clean Games Inside and Outside the Stadiums
• Downtown Community: The Camera is Mightier than the Pen..Using Media to Fight Corruption
• Youth, ICT, Music in Anti-Corruption
• Mobilizing Metropolis: New Approaches for Fighting Corruption in the Context of Rapid Urbanization
• Corruption and Health: Good Practice Examples in Different Health Care Settings
• Whistleblowers and Official Secrecy, Corruption and Repression
• After Rio+20: Promoting Transparency and Sustainability in the Water/Energy/Food Security Nexus
• Illicit Financial Flows: Plugging the Leaks to Curtail Corruption and Promote Economic Development
• Societies in Transition: How Corruption Frustrates Change
DAY 4. 10/10/12
• Open Banking and Financial Transparency 2.0
• Social Mobilization and Information Systems
• Joining Forces for Enforcement: Making UNCAC Work
• Preventing Corruption through a Sectorial Approach: Experiences and Voices from the Field
• Electoral Corruption
• Clean Energy Needs Clean Government: Governance Indicators for Delivering Sustainable Energy for All
• Preventing Public Officials from Enjoying the Proceeds of Corruption: What more should the financial sector be doing?
• Fighting the ghosts of the past in new democracies: Information rights and transitional legacies
• People power, Transitions and Corruption: What is our role?
• The Future of Fighting Corruption
• Power to the people: Parliamentarians, Citizens and Anti-Corruption
• How to increase the effectiveness of Anti-Corruption Agencies
• The CONSOCIAL in Brazil-Empowerment and governmental agenda setting on preventing and fighting against corruption
• Global Norms for Transparency
• Tackling Corruption in Sports: Moving Values between the Pitch and the Corridor of Power
• Defining our future: Collectively shaping the global governance agenda
HIGHLIGHTS OF SOME SESSIONS ATTENDED BY THE TEAM
1. Global Solutions against Corruption
Perhaps one of the most interesting plenary sessions on day one of the conference was the session on Global Solutions against Corruption. It was categorically made clear that there is no quick fix measure neither is there a single legislation to combat corruption. Fighting corruption should be everyone’s business. To build a world free of corruption, it needs the collaborative effort of everyone and a practical agenda for change.
Corruption is also gender blind but women are mostly affected when they seek public services in education and other social services. Anti-Corruption Agencies across the world should pay special attention to women affected by corruption.
In terms of dealing with the scourge, prevention is the best but can only be effective if it goes with deterrence and advocacy. Civil society have a role to play in exposing corruption and advocating for change. The noise we often hear in a democracy against corruption is better than the silence in a dictatorship.
Since the last IACC in 2010, a lot has changed in the global fight against corruption. Key among the changes were the Arab Spring which emanated out of increasing discontent against bad leadership and corruption, increasing sanction/litigation on corruption in most countries in the world and emerging markets like China.
2. Media as Agents of Change: Exposing Corruption, Empowering People
The session started with a quote by one of the panelists that “Corruption grows in silence”. This suggest that in societies where the culture of silence is so pervasive, there is tendency for widespread corruption and maladministration.
Many journalists around the world have been killed uncovering corruption and organized crime. A vast majority were killed with impunity and no one was held accountable. In some instances, journalists have been silenced through various means such as legislations dealing with libel/criminal defamation, disproportionate fines, or long prison sentences. Anti-terrorism laws have also been used to inculpate journalists and at extremes they have suffered brutal deaths in the hands of corrupt individuals or groups they expose.
To help journalists to continue to do their job, it is important that the public sector and other stakeholders understand their rights. Access to information should be an imperative and public as well as the private sector institutions should strive to be transparent in their dealings with the public. Impunity needs to be combated and the political will in terms of the rule of law must be observed.
SOME BENEFITS OF THE CONFERENCE
The benefits of this conference are multifaceted and which we gracefully wish to share with our stakeholders, civil society and staff of the Commission who hadn’t the opportunity to be at the conference so that they can buy into our experiences and develop a more formidable front in the fight against corruption in Sierra Leone. Key among these are;
Fresh/ new ideas:
The team had the opportunity to be exposed to a range of fresh ideas on global initiatives in the fight against corruption. Notable among these include the following;
•The Stolen Assets Recovery (STAR) initiative by the World Bank which clearly describe what the banks should do in preventing money laundering was among the interesting discussion the team benefitted from. The most effective means of reducing corruption is by reducing access to financial institutions by corrupt individuals. It was revealed at the conference that most financial institutions have been non compliant to the FATF recommendations on money laundering in about 60% of the jurisdictions. Some are partially compliant but only two (2) jurisdictions are fully compliant. Three recommendations were proffered, notably the prevention of the entry of stolen wealth by banks which could be difficult, helping to detect illicit wealth and providing a paper trail. In ensuring an effective anti-money laundering regime the scope of application has to be looked into such that rules for PEPS should apply to all banks, insurance companies, mortgage and real estate brokers. The target population should apply to foreign, domestic PEPS and former or current PEPS. Family and close associates can also be targeted. Shifting of presumption of money laundering to the illicit beneficial ownership until proven otherwise can also be helpful in investigating money laundering Nevertheless, the team had the good opportunity to share our country experience in the area of recovery of stolen wealth amounting to Le. 39 Billion from financial institutions. This was received with much approbation.
•Open Contracting through contract monitoring, is one of the flagship of the World Bank interventions in combating corruption. It is worthy to note that procurement is at the nexus between government and business. USD$ 9.5 trillion is utilized annually in the world on contract, yet monitoring for its effectiveness is lacking in most countries. The legal framework, the status of compliance, the capacity to drive the process and the disclosure regime are crucial.
The team benefited from the Uganda experience in their presentation of a model contract monitoring framework which we hope to replicate in Sierra Leone.
The conference offered us the opportunity to network with other anti-corruption agencies and international organizations. The team was able to meet with Ana Bosman of the African Development Bank with whom we shared experiences on ways to address the outflows on oil revenues and the aspect of capacity building for staff of the Commission.
The team also met with Peter Eigen, founder of TI who also expressed the desire to come to Sierra Leone and meet with us to discuss the issue of going beyond the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) in Sierra Leone. At lunch break in one of the sessions, we had fruitful engagements with an official of the US State Department on possible interventions/initiatives in supporting the fight against corruption in Sierra Leone.
Two invitations arose from these engagements. The first being an invitation to the Commissioner of the ACC by his counterpart to visit Jamaica and present to its parliament, the effects of prosecutorial powers entrusted to the ACC in order to possibly emulate the Sierra Leonean standard. An invitation was also extended to the Commissioner to deliver a talk in Tunisia at an upcoming African Heads of Anti-Corruption conference organized by the African Development Bank.
Resource materials in the form of books, Videos, journals and software form part of what we benefited from the conference. The resource materials will be very useful to not only staff of the Commission but also to students in the University and other tertiary institutions undertaking research.
END OF CONFERENCE
At the end of the conference, delegates came together to galvanize their resolve to deal with impunity for those who abuse position or power. Below is the declaration code named “The Brasilia Declaration.” See you in Tunisia for the 2016 IACC.
The Brasilia Declaration
15th IACC, November 10, 2012
More than 1,900 people from 140 countries gathered in Brasilia to discuss one of the most pressing issues of our time: corruption in
When the International Anti-Corruption Conference last met in Bangkok in 2010, the raging financial crisis made restoring trust an imperative. Since then, as a result of the lessons learned not being put into practice, the world has seen countless examples of trust abused.
Trust continues to be eroded. Many realize that in politics, in sport, in education, and in business, in local offices and global institutions, corruption denies them a voice, well-being and justice. Now more than ever we must bring corruption fighters together to create a more focused effort against the abuse of entrusted power.
People know they can make a difference when they come together in sufficient numbers and with a clear goal.
Citizens, acting in coordination, can more effectively challenge governments, corporations, financial institutions, sports bodies or international organisations that neglect their duty towards them.
By focusing on daily lives and concerns, efforts toward transparency and the fight against corruption empower people. The fight against corruption must mean more than the passing of new laws. It must mean the practice of transparency in day-by-day government activities; and its impact must be felt at every level of society and compel citizens to join forces.
The most vulnerable people in our society, often severely affected by corruption, must be able to hold leaders to their word, and to expose those who go back on promises. To do so they need access to information through a free press, unfettered Internet and other open pathways to inform the public and facilitate the fight against corruption.
Communities must be given the means to hold leaders and institutions accountable for their actions in between elections, as well as multinational companies that profit from operations in their country. We must develop ways to draw corporations into collective action against corruption.
Empowerment of civil society to review the distribution of aid and the extraction of minerals is a key element.
We must take more action to address the effects of corruption on the younger generations and on women since it is they who are disproportionately affected by corruption.
Secrecy in the world of money has meant trillions lost by developing countries. To restore their trust, transparency and accountability must be rooted in the financial system.
In the realm of sports, fans and sponsors, players and athletes need power over the bodies that run their sport. These bodies should be encouraged to lead by example by upholding basic principles of integrity.
“Don’t let them get away with it”
As we gathered this week to discuss issues of concern to all of us — politics and economics, development and sports, responses to climate change and the arms trade — it is clear we all face a common challenge in our work: impunity for those who abuse positions of power.
If impunity is not stopped, we risk the dissolution of the very fabric of society and the rule of law, our trust in our politics and our hope for social justice.
Activists, businesspeople, politicians, public officials, journalists, academics, youth and citizens who gathered in Brasilia to discuss the threat of corruption made it clear that impunity undermines integrity everywhere.
Whether we are investing collective efforts and resources in fighting poverty, human rights violations, climate change or bailing out indebted economies, we need to give the people a reason to believe that impunity will be stopped.
To take this important struggle forward the international anti-corruption community should promote greater people engagement and find ways to provide greater security for anti-corruption activists.
Reducing impunity also requires independent and well-resourced judiciaries that are accountable to the people they serve.
We call on leaders everywhere to embrace not only transparency in public life but a culture of transparency leading to a participatory society in which leaders are accountable.
We call on the anti-corruption movement to support and protect the activists, whistleblowers and journalists who speak out against corruption, often at great risk.
It is up to all of us in government, business and society to embrace transparency so that it ensures full participation of all people, bringing us together to send a clear message: We are watching those who act with impunity and we will not let them get away with it.
REPORT ON “MEET THE SCHOOL CAMPAIGN” IN FREETOWN
As part of the Anti-Corruption Commission’s sensitization, awareness raising and the empowering of pupils and teachers in the educational sector, the Commission has taken the Anti-graft crusade to schools in Freetown, during what is referred to as “Meet the school Campaign”
The extensive event which commenced in May and ended on the 19th June 2012, has equipped many school pupils and teachers with knowledge on corruption and the operations of the ACC. The message disseminated to the schools and the reasons for such engagement, as catalogued by the team of ACC officials, were very clear and motivational.
It was stated that corruption is like a vicious circle, which is being transmitted from one generation to the other through various means. If the fight against corruption is to be sustainable the children that hold the future should be part of the formulation and implementation process of the Anti-Graft policies. The reason for teaching school children on corruption and its devastating effect is couched in one phrase which is to “capture them young”. If children can now imbibe the virtues of integrity, transparency, accountability, and patriotism; when they become adults they would exhibit the same in their public life.
In these meetings, Pupils were guided and encouraged to desist from acts of low integrity. When pupils come to school late, dress recklessly, abuse, fight, steal and cheat in examinations or offer bribes for grades, these are referred to as attributes of low integrity. Invariably, a child who usually steals or cheats in an examination has the tendency to embezzle public funds, when he starts working as an adult. Integrity was impressed in the minds of pupils as the watch word and the golden principle.
The team of ACC officials cautioned teachers and heads of schools on the mischievous practices going on in schools, which has resulted to the appalling standards in the educational system of this country, adding that the Commission frowns at extortion or illegal charges in schools. From the interactions with pupils in various secondary schools, it is disheartening to realize that some teachers even ask for money for correcting assignments and for the awarding of marks, or they sometimes ask for sex in exchange for marks.
If we are to regain our dignity and morality, every Sierra Leonean should join in the fight against corruption in schools. The Commission which is the lead agency in the fight against corruption can not do it all alone. Therefore, a clarion call was made to both pupils and teachers to see this fight as a national fight. Teachers and pupils were encouraged to report to the commission any corrupt practices going on in their respective communities or schools, as the free toll hotline were made available to participants. Pupils were strongly cautioned not to send false reports about their teachers to the Commission, and assured them of the Commission’s protection against victimization, for reporting to the Commission. Each of these meetings was climaxed with a question and answer session, which were noted and taken to the Commission for consideration.
COMMENTS, CONCERNS AND QUESTIONS:
1. Who investigates ACC officials when they become corrupt?
2. Are there checks and balances for the ACC?
3. Should we report examination malpractices directly to the ACC?
4. Is unemployment the root cause of corruption?
5. Can ACC prosecute NGO’s and non-Sierra Leoneans working in Sierra Leone?
6. Are the ACC laws applicable to children under 18 years?
7. Can a 13 year old girl give witness in court?
8. Are we permitted to report teachers who extort money from us to the ACC?
9. If my father is corrupt, can I make such report to the Commission?
10. Does the ACC address reports regarding rape?
11. Why is it that the leaders we trust are the ones who always corrupt this country, and in most cases their matters are not treated seriously in court?
12. It is really bad for pupils to pay for mark or to be awarded marks they do not deserve.
The following schools were visited at different schedules or meetings for both the JSS and the SSS at this first round of the “Meet the School Campaign”.
Allen Town - East
21st May, 2012
Margaret, David, Kangaju
22nd May, 2012
Kissy Shell -East
23rd May, 2012
Margaret, David, Michael
Ahmadiyya Sec. School
31st May, 2012
Academy Sec. School
Berry Street- Central
6th June, 2012
School For Girls
7th June, 2012
Prince of Wales Sec.
Kingtom - Central
Kangaju, David, Mohamed
Annie Walsh Sec. School
8th June, 2012
Kangaju, Margaret, David
Collegiate Sec. School
Wilkinson Road- West
13th/14th June, 2012
Govt. Technical Sec.
Congo Cross- West
14th/15th June, 2012
Lady Pat. Kabba Sec.
Goderich - West
19th June, 2012
SCHOOL LOCATION PROPOSED DATE OFFICERS RESPONSIBLE
Baptist Secondary School Allen Town - East 21st May, 2012 Margaret, David, Kangaju
Methodist Boys High School Thunder Hill-East 22nd May, 2012 John, David
Richard Allen Sec. School Kissy Shell -East 23rd May, 2012 Margaret, David, Michael
Ahmadiyya Sec. School Ferry Junction-East 31st May, 2012 Kangaju, David,
Albert Academy Sec. School Berry Street- Central 6th June, 2012 Mohamed, David
Freetown Sec. School For Girls Brookfields- West 7th June, 2012 David, Margaret
Prince of Wales Sec. School Kingtom - Central 7th/8th June,2012 Kangaju, David, Mohamed Michael
Annie Walsh Sec. School Eastern Police-East 8th June, 2012 Kangaju, Margaret, David
Collegiate Sec. School Wilkinson Road- West 13th/14th June, 2012 David, Kangaju
Govt. Technical Sec. School Congo Cross- West 14th/15th June, 2012 David, Mohamed
Lady Pat. Kabba Sec. School Goderich - West 19th June, 2012 David, Margaret