By: Martina George, Communication Officer
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has, on Tuesday 22nd February 2022, in the Conference Room of its Head Office at 3 Gloucester Street in Freetown, presented to the National Water Resources Management Agency (NWRMA), a Review Report on budget allocations and utilization in the Water Sector.
In his statement, the Director of the Prevention Department ACC, Rashid Turay called on the Agency to take the recommendations proffered by the Commission very seriously, by ensuring that the recommendations are implemented. “As a Commission our core mandate amongst others is to prevent corruption and that is what informed the commencement of the review conducted at the NWRMA, as the Agency was not the only institution that was reviewed,” he added. Director Turay furthered that the review was a holistic exercise conducted on the Water Sector including, the Sierra Leone Water Company (SALWACO), Guma Valley Water Company (GVWC) and the Ministry of Water Resources.
Responding, the Director General of the National Water Resources Management Agency, Junisa Patrick Bangali Esq., thanked the Commission for such a laudable venture. He assured the ACC saying, “we will give our unflinching support to the Commission and will ensure that all the recommendations proffered will be implemented and where there are any challenges we will communicate them accordingly”.
Giving an overview of the Report, Deputy Director of the Prevention Department ACC, Martin P. George underscored the aim of the review, which was to identify weaknesses in the practices and procedures of the Agency that provide the opportunities for corruption and also to proffer recommendations on how to address the weaknesses. He also stated that it is but timely for a review to be done in the Agency.
Head, Systems and Processes Review Unit ACC, Samuel Marrah Esq., whilst dilating on the findings and recommendations of the review exercise said, one of the findings is that NWRMA developed a five-year Strategic Development Plan (2019-2023). He also said that the Plan identified weak water governance, weak framework for disseminating best practice and lessons in International Water Regulatory Management (IWRM). He however noted that, one of the recommendations is that the Strategic Plan is popularized to all Departments with a view that each Department understands its mandate and path in pursuing the overall mandate of the institution.
Acting Head, Monitoring and Compliance Unit ACC, Ibrahim Sorie Kamara-Kay dilated on the process of grading the compliance levels of the Agency. He cited Section 8(1) of the Anti-Corruption Act of 2008 as amended in 2019 which says that MDAs shall comply with ACC instructions within three months of receipt of instructions from the Commission and Section 8(2) of the said Act which stipulates, if there is a recommendation which Management believes is inapplicable or disadvantageous in regard implementation the MDA should write to the Commissioner within seven days of receipt of instruction.
The NWRMA was established by Act No. 5 of 2017 of the laws of Sierra Leone with the objective to regulate, utilize, protect, develop, conserve, control and generally manage water resources across Sierra Leone. The Agency is also to ensure that the water resources of the country are controlled in a sustainable manner. The formal handing over of the Report to the National Water Resources Management Agency by the Director of Prevention Department, ACC, climaxed the event