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Date: 2017-09-08

Deputy Commissioner, Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Shollay Davies, from the 21st to 25th August 2017 participated in the open-ended Inter-Governmental Working Group Conference on the Prevention of Corruption and Asset Recovery in Vienna, Austria.

The meeting is part of the implementation of Conference Resolution 6/6, entitled "Follow up to the Marrakech Declaration on the Prevention of Corruption" and of recommendations agreed upon by the Working Group meeting in August 2016, and Resolution 6/2, on facilitating International Cooperation in Asset Recovery and the Return of Proceeds of Crime; as well as Resolution 6/3, on fostering effective Asset Recovery, adopted by the Conference at its sixth session in November 2015 in St. Petersburg, Russia.

In his statement at the conference, Mr. Davies stated that, Sierra Leone has largely domesticated the provisions of the UNCAC, noting the development of the National Anti-Corruption Strategy (NACS) as the testament to national consensus and resolve to fight corruption. He furthered that, the Strategy has made significant structural interventions such as the establishment of Integrity Management Committees in almost 95% of the country's Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).

The Commission has embarked on the review of systems and processes in public sector institutions proffering best practice recommendations in order to reduce on corruption vulnerabilities and improve service delivery, the Deputy Commissioner added.

He also said, through overt operations and exercises conducted by the Commission, billions of leones have been recovered and paid into State coffers-the Consolidated Revenue Fund.

Mr. Davies informed the meeting of the Commission's drive to promote integrity with the mandatory requirement of all public officers to declare their assets, income and liabilities; highlighting the online asset declaration portal which will facilitate timely submission of completed Asset Forms by public officers, particularly those in foreign missions.

Deputy Commissioner informed the conference of the Pay No Bribe (PNB) campaign funded by UK Aid and the Government of Sierra Leone as an electronic system for reporting bribery and petty corruption using the toll free line, mobile APP and the website and has proven as a very useful platform for pupils and students to report corruption incidences in schools.

In a related development, the Deputy Commissioner took part in a tripartite meeting where preliminary discussions were held on the country review of Italy by Sierra Leone and the United States of America on Chapters II and V of the UNCAC.

Also, the possibility of integrating anti-corruption studies in schools and colleges formed part of the discussions.

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