ACC MANAGEMENT TEAM MAPS THE WAY FOR 2014.
Over thirty senior staff comprising the Commissioner, directors of departments, heads of various units and regional managers recently concluded a 3 day staff retreat. The aim of the retreat was to review achievements of 2013 and to strategize on the Commission’s approach to tackling corruption within the unfolding environment.
At the opening session, the, DFID, Governance Director, Ms. Cynthia Rowe congratulated the Commissioner and staff of the ACC for the leadership role they continue to play in the fight against corruption. Ms. Rowe noted that all over the world, issues relating to corruption are difficult to manage and anti graft workers are never popular people. Sierra Leone she pronounced is still fragile and is at a cross road from conflict to development. Endemic practice of corruption would not help the country achieve the Agenda for Prosperity.
The emphasis in her opinion should be on petty or low level corruption which occurs on a daily basis in the form of bribery for accessing services or facilitating transactions. She said government must ensure that proper structures are put in place to address corruption and bribery in the country. The DFID Governance Director called on all Sierra Leoneans to challenge impunity and called on the ACC to press on with more awareness raising campaign on the ills of corruption.
The Commissioner of the ACC, Joseph Fitzgerald Kamara, informed staff of the theme for 2014 which is “MAKING THE IMPOSSIBLE POSSIBLE”. A core approach will be the mainstreaming of anti corruption schemes into all MDAs through the implementation of the National Anti Corruption strategy, (NACS). This would involve developing policies and integrating principles of internal controls in public sector reform programs.
He emphasized that in 2014, the Commission would ensure a robust tax regime, an effective audit service and financial management tracking system. These systems, he said would be put in place to ensure transparency and accountability in all MDAs. With regards corruption detection, Commissioner Kamara stressed that the Commission would work with audit institutions to ensure that public funds are spent legally and prudently. Compliance sanctions would be brought to bear on offenders particularly with the “decentralization of corruption”.
Speaking on the revised National Anti Corruption Strategy the Director of the coordination secretariat Mr. Nabillah Musa Kamara stated that the revised NACS which expires in 2018 targets corruption through a multi-pronged balanced approach and combination of actions based on three mutually reinforcing fronts as provided for within the 2008 Act: Prevention, Enforcement and Suppression. The major themes the new NACS would pursue are political will and leadership, transparency, accountability, meritocracy, deregulation, standardization and automation, efficiency of service delivery, professionalism and competence, public participation and change management. The Secretariat will be conducting in the near future a validation of the new NACS.
Staff of the ACC are therefore required to double their efforts, and strengthen their commitment in the fight against corruption for the advancement of the country. Citizens of Sierra Leone who were not part of the retreat, this is a call out to you. What will be your contribution to the fight against corruption in Sierra Leone for 2014.