By: Alex A. Bah, Public Relations Assistant, ACC
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) on Tuesday 26th September, 2023, hosted a team comprising officials of the Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC) and the Institute for Governance Reform (IGR).
The meeting which was held in its Conference Room, Third Floor, Integrity House, Tower Hill, Freetown, was to advance the discussion on the Implementation of Audit Recommendations contained in Audit Reports.
The Deputy Commissioner ACC, Augustine Foday Ngobie in his statement reaffirmed the commitment of the ACC to working with the IGR and GACC, stating that the Commission has for the past four years been taking considerable actions on Audit Reports.
This he noted was as a result of the recurring issues flagged in previous Reports that were published and called for swift and appropriate actions. He further said that at the commencement of the Commission’s interventions, there were sections of the public questioning the Locus Standi of the ACC, noting that such falls within the mandate of the Sierra Leone Parliament.
He furthered that the ACC collaborates with the Parliament as the ACC has the powers to initiate actions on suspected instances or allegations of corruption brought to it by any means.
Mr. Ngobie added that the Commission then moved to forge an MoU with the Audit Service Sierra Leone as a mark of partnership and collaboration so as “not to allow the corrupt people get a field day”, he averred.
He continued that part of the terms of the MoU is for the Audit to direct matters that are clear cut suspected acts of corruption for its attention, intervention and action even before the eventual Report.
Making a statement, the Coordinator of Operations, Emmanuel Koivaya Amara similarly stated that the Audit Reports ought to be debated and action taken by the Public Accounts Committee. He however added that over the years, because of the enormous work of Parliament this Report has not been thoroughly looked at, with subsequent Audit Reports released compounding the situation. As such Parliament, specifically the Public Accounts Committee has been closely working with the ACC to ensuring that the needed actions are taken.
Mohamed Ibrahim Justice Ganawah, Senior Economist, IGR, in his statement commended the Commission, disclosing that before this time, Auditors were constrained with important documents requested from Public Officers as they were mostly not provided. He added that the intervention of the Commission has conditioned some of these public officers to eschew those acts and be serious with their work.
He also stated that this disregard is the reason why more than 50% of the huge cash losses were not recorded.
He continued that in different Ministires, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), a lot of improvements has been made. Mr. Ganawah however raised concern on the issue of time and value of money, noting that the ACC should consider this seriously when actions on the misappropriation of Public Monies are taken.
Beauty Emefa Narteh, Executive Secretary, GACC commended the ACC, and noted her pleasure of working with the Commission. She added that it is very important for countries to accord audit recommendations, the importance they so deserve by maximizing their implementation.
She said that in most countries especially in West Africa, there is the problem of trivializing Audit Recommendations and this was what informed their intervention with focus on Ghana, Sierra Leone and Benin.
Earlier, Director of Intelligence and Investigations, Evelyn Kuyateh explained how the ACC actually rolls out its interventions when Audit Reports are published. "We do have a specialized team called the Elite Scorpion Team that we put at the fore to address issues that we identify as quick-fix. During their raids, we behave as abnormal people by instituting arrests on concerned parties on most especially issues that have to do with misappropriation", she added.
Director, Public Education and External Outreach Department, Patrick Sandi, highlighted the exclusive work of his Department with respect to responding to Audit Reports. He underscored that the ACC usually and promptly informs the public through Press Conference, Serialized Media Releases and Radio and TV Programs on its various actions and interventions.
Presentation of Copies of the Anti-Corruption Act 2008 as amended in 2019 by the Deputy Commissioner ACC, Augustine Foday Ngobie, climaxed the event.
©️ Public Relations Unit, ACC