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ACC RELEASES SECOND PAY NO BRIBE REPORT ON BRIBE TAKING IN THE PUBLIC SECTOR
Date: 2017-09-07

The second Pay No Bribe (PNB)report released by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) on bribe-taking by public sector officials and responses from Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) covers the period January to June 2017.

This represents the second and third quarters of the project.

The PNB is an online reporting platform. The first phase ended in March 2017 and covered the health, education, water, electricity and law enforcement (police) sectors, with district support mechanisms in Bo, Bombali, Kenema Districts and the Western Area. PNB encourages members of the public to: a) report when they have been asked to pay a bribe by a public official, whether or not they paid it, b) report when they meet an honest official. Reporting is quick and anonymous, and can be done by calling the free 515 number on all Teleco networks, going to the website, or downloading the PNB mobile application in Krio, Temne and Mende.

PNB captures data trends on corruption in the public sector, and the data is made public on the website www.pnb.gov.sl. The ACC also shares detailed reports on monthly trends with the relevant GOSL MDAs. MDAs use this data to resolve corruption issues at source through administrative action or systems/policy reforms. They are required to report back on the actions they have taken on a quarterly basis.

For the period January to June 2017, a total of 19,437 PNB reports were received. Of these 14,696 (76%) of reports indicated “I Paid a Bribe”, 3,365 (17%) reported they “Didn’t Pay a Bribe” and 1,376 (7%) reported that they “Met an Honest Official”.

41%of these reports concerned the Police Force; 29% health officials; 19% education sector officials; 4% electricity officials; and 2% water sector officials. Though the Police Force tops the “I Paid a Bribe” reports there has been a percentage improvement of 7.7%, down from 48.7% of all reports in Quarter 1. There is also progress in the percentage of “I Did not Pay a Bribe” Police reports; 17% compared to 12.5% in the first quarter PNB report.

PNB is led jointly by the Anti-Corruption Commission and the Office of the Chief of Staff, and was integral to the President's Recovery Priorities under improving governance in the public sector. The platform is funded by GoSL and UK Aid.

Saidu Conton-Sesay, Chief of Staff, said: “Government remains committed to the PNB campaign and will play its part in ensuring the cooperation of MDAs. The beauty of the Pay No Bribe system is that it has enabled MDAs to direct their resources more efficiently towards developing robust responses against institutionalised corruption.”

The data suggest that men are 8% more likely to pay a bribe than women. This figure disguises substantial disparities however. Men are four times more likely than women to pay a bribe to the Police. In the health sector, women are almost nine times more likely to pay a bribe than men. There is more parity in education, with girls (59%) reporting slightly more bribery than boys (41%). With respect to public utilities, men are more likely to pay a bribe for electricity services and women for water.

The Commissioner ACC, Ady Macauley Esq. reinforces the view that bribery hinders effective service delivery. “As the general public gain confidence in the PNB system being an anonymous reporting channel we hope that they will make more regular use of the 515 free line and online platforms to report corruption in the delivery of public services.”

MDAs responses to the January to June PNB data indicate that:

1/ The Sierra Leone Police continues to take a robust stance against corruption within the Force. With traffic related bribes recording the most complaints, actions taken by the police include:

 Concentrating on hotspots and carrying out sting operations by the CDIID Pro-active wing.

 Rotation of Regional and Divisional Traffic commanders in Bo District. Similar actions are being taken in Bombali District.

 Issued Zero tolerance Administrative warning.

 Regional Police Commanders urged to re-double their efforts in the fight against bribery and corruption.

 Personnel at the regions and divisions have been strongly admonished to desist from engaging in bribery and extortions or face dire consequences when found wanting.

2/ The key complaints in relation to EDSA, Guma Valley Water Company and the Sierra Leone Water Company concern new connections, reconnections and illegal connections.

In response, these agencies are focusing on strategies to promote increased transparency with their customers, a media and information blitz, increasing visibility of service charters so that customers can distinguish between legitimate fees and bribes, and staff training on PNB.

 EDSA has set up a customer service hotline 672 to enhance communication between the organisation and its customers.

 Installed software to track all meter replacement/installation with necessary information.

 Redeployment of customer Service Officers in the provinces.

 All information relating to connections are now made available to the public on brochures, website.

 Public Relation Officers to be recruited in Makeni and Kenema to support in the sensitization of staff and the general public in these regions.

 Guma Service Charters now on display at Guma offices at; Headquarter, PWD, Kissy, Wilberforce, Allen Town.

 Replenishment of GUMA stores in a timely and effective manner. This will promote the timely provision of materials for new connections and reconnections.

 GUMA service charters printed on monthly water bills in water mark.

 Radio Talk “Guma Hour” every fortnight. Newspaper publications on Guma services and costs commenced.

 SALWACO has provided Identity cards to all its staff members to distinguish them from Water Directorate staff who are often engaged in water delivery services in some PNB districts.

 With the introduction of the new SALWACO bill, the role of SALWACO would be clearly defined and set apart from that of the Water Directorate.

3/ In the Health Sector, antenatal care, child birth and under-five health – services which are provided for under the free health care initiative - have emerged as the areas where requests for bribes are most common.

 Actions being taken by the Ministry of Health and Sanitation include the display of MoHS Service Charter in all health facilities.

 The IMC to inform the Health Education Division through the Permanent Secretary to include in its plan an awareness raising campaign on the operations of the PNB.

 PCMH has established a team of monitors that conduct patient survey. Follow ups on the outcome of the survey will be done by ACC and partners.

4/ The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology has to date provided no response to the monthly PNB reports shared with the Ministry by the ACC over the period.

Nabilahi Kamara, Director-National Anti-Corruption Strategy (NACS) and Programme Manager-PNB says, there is an overall public buy-in to the Pay No Bribe platform, but added that for the system to become effective against corruption, more needed to be done to encourage the public to report. “PNB is a useful tool to gauge bribery in Sierra Leone and provides firsthand and credible data in relation to bribery incidences in the public sector.”

This represents the second and third quarters of the project.

The PNB is an online reporting platform. The first phase ended in March 2017 and covered the health, education, water, electricity and law enforcement (police) sectors, with district support mechanisms in Bo, Bombali, Kenema Districts and the Western Area. PNB encourages members of the public to: a) report when they have been asked to pay a bribe by a public official, whether or not they paid it, b) report when they meet an honest official. Reporting is quick and anonymous, and can be done by calling the free 515 number on all Teleco networks, going to the website, or downloading the PNB mobile application in Krio, Temne and Mende.

PNB captures data trends on corruption in the public sector, and the data is made public on the website www.pnb.gov.sl. The ACC also shares detailed reports on monthly trends with the relevant GOSL MDAs. MDAs use this data to resolve corruption issues at source through administrative action or systems/policy reforms. They are required to report back on the actions they have taken on a quarterly basis.

For the period January to June 2017, a total of 19,437 PNB reports were received. Of these 14,696 (76%) of reports indicated “I Paid a Bribe”, 3,365 (17%) reported they “Didn’t Pay a Bribe” and 1,376 (7%) reported that they “Met an Honest Official”.

41%of these reports concerned the Police Force; 29% health officials; 19% education sector officials; 4% electricity officials; and 2% water sector officials. Though the Police Force tops the “I Paid a Bribe” reports there has been a percentage improvement of 7.7%, down from 48.7% of all reports in Quarter 1. There is also progress in the percentage of “I Did not Pay a Bribe” Police reports; 17% compared to 12.5% in the first quarter PNB report.

PNB is led jointly by the Anti-Corruption Commission and the Office of the Chief of Staff, and was integral to the President's Recovery Priorities under improving governance in the public sector. The platform is funded by GoSL and UK Aid.

Saidu Conton-Sesay, Chief of Staff, said: “Government remains committed to the PNB campaign and will play its part in ensuring the cooperation of MDAs. The beauty of the Pay No Bribe system is that it has enabled MDAs to direct their resources more efficiently towards developing robust responses against institutionalised corruption.”

The data suggest that men are 8% more likely to pay a bribe than women. This figure disguises substantial disparities however. Men are four times more likely than women to pay a bribe to the Police. In the health sector, women are almost nine times more likely to pay a bribe than men. There is more parity in education, with girls (59%) reporting slightly more bribery than boys (41%). With respect to public utilities, men are more likely to pay a bribe for electricity services and women for water.

The Commissioner ACC, Ady Macauley Esq. reinforces the view that bribery hinders effective service delivery. “As the general public gain confidence in the PNB system being an anonymous reporting channel we hope that they will make more regular use of the 515 free line and online platforms to report corruption in the delivery of public services.”

MDAs responses to the January to June PNB data indicate that:

1/ The Sierra Leone Police continues to take a robust stance against corruption within the Force. With traffic related bribes recording the most complaints, actions taken by the police include:

 Concentrating on hotspots and carrying out sting operations by the CDIID Pro-active wing.

 Rotation of Regional and Divisional Traffic commanders in Bo District. Similar actions are being taken in Bombali District.

 Issued Zero tolerance Administrative warning.

 Regional Police Commanders urged to re-double their efforts in the fight against bribery and corruption.

 Personnel at the regions and divisions have been strongly admonished to desist from engaging in bribery and extortions or face dire consequences when found wanting.

2/ The key complaints in relation to EDSA, Guma Valley Water Company and the Sierra Leone Water Company concern new connections, reconnections and illegal connections.

In response, these agencies are focusing on strategies to promote increased transparency with their customers, a media and information blitz, increasing visibility of service charters so that customers can distinguish between legitimate fees and bribes, and staff training on PNB.

 EDSA has set up a customer service hotline 672 to enhance communication between the organisation and its customers.

 Installed software to track all meter replacement/installation with necessary information.

 Redeployment of customer Service Officers in the provinces.

 All information relating to connections are now made available to the public on brochures, website.

 Public Relation Officers to be recruited in Makeni and Kenema to support in the sensitization of staff and the general public in these regions.

 Guma Service Charters now on display at Guma offices at; Headquarter, PWD, Kissy, Wilberforce, Allen Town.

 Replenishment of GUMA stores in a timely and effective manner. This will promote the timely provision of materials for new connections and reconnections.

 GUMA service charters printed on monthly water bills in water mark.

 Radio Talk “Guma Hour” every fortnight. Newspaper publications on Guma services and costs commenced.

 SALWACO has provided Identity cards to all its staff members to distinguish them from Water Directorate staff who are often engaged in water delivery services in some PNB districts.

 With the introduction of the new SALWACO bill, the role of SALWACO would be clearly defined and set apart from that of the Water Directorate.

3/ In the Health Sector, antenatal care, child birth and under-five health – services which are provided for under the free health care initiative - have emerged as the areas where requests for bribes are most common.

 Actions being taken by the Ministry of Health and Sanitation include the display of MoHS Service Charter in all health facilities.

 The IMC to inform the Health Education Division through the Permanent Secretary to include in its plan an awareness raising campaign on the operations of the PNB.

 PCMH has established a team of monitors that conduct patient survey. Follow ups on the outcome of the survey will be done by ACC and partners.

4/ The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology has to date provided no response to the monthly PNB reports shared with the Ministry by the ACC over the period.

Nabilahi Kamara, Director-National Anti-Corruption Strategy (NACS) and Programme Manager-PNB says, there is an overall public buy-in to the Pay No Bribe platform, but added that for the system to become effective against corruption, more needed to be done to encourage the public to report. “PNB is a useful tool to gauge bribery in Sierra Leone and provides firsthand and credible data in relation to bribery incidences in the public sector.”




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