The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) through its National Anti-Corruption Strategy (NACS) Coordinating Secretariat which is under the Office of the Commissioner ACC, in collaboration with the NACS Steering Committee-that sits in the Office of the Vice President, on 14th December, 2022, honoured, recognized and awarded Certificates of Merit to Thirty Eight (38) deserving Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and Local Councils for being ‘fully compliant’ to the implementation of the recommendations contained in the NACS 2019-2023.
Speaking at the certification ceremony at the Cathedral Hall, 3 Gloucester Street, Freetown, the Commissioner ACC, Francis Ben Kaifala Esq, on behalf of the NACS Coordinating Secretariat and the NACS Steering Committee, expressed profound gratitude to the MDAs and Local Councils for the commitment and support provided in the fight against corruption through implementation and adaptation of the NACS recommendations into their operations. “Happy for the level of cooperation and support to the fight against corruption” Commissioner Kaifala added. The ACC Czar encouraged them to continue applying the preventive method instead of creating a situation for prosecution. He thanked the NACS Steering Committee for their continuous effort in ensuring that the NACS recommendations are implemented by MDAs and Local Councils.
The Chairperson for the NACS Steering Committee, who doubles as the Minister of State in the Office of the Vice President, Francess Alghali, in her statement underscored the significance of the certification ceremony, which shows how proud and thankful they were of the fully compliant MDAs and Local Councils. She commended the Integrity Management Committees (IMCs) in these MDAs for the important role in the monitoring and implementation of the NACS recommendations. She furthered that the fight against corruption does not only border on prosecution, but also prevention which is also key. She urged other MDAs and Local Councils who have not complied with the NACS recommendations to put in place structures and institute measures that will control corruption.
Earlier, in his welcome address, the Deputy Commissioner of the ACC, Augustine Foday Ngobie acknowledged the MDAs and Local Councils for positively playing their part in the fight against corruption. “You have been playing your part out there not knowing that you are being watched” Mr. Ngobie averred. He also stated that the Commission is very much pleased to have the Steering Committee in the Office of the Vice President as it shows there is political will and commitment to the fight against corruption.
He urged other MDAs and Local Council who are yet to fully comply and are lagging behind to step up and take on this challenge to implement the NACS recommendations. “The more people we have on board the less questioning” he ended.
The first ever certification ceremony by the NACS Secretariat and Steering Committee that seeks to recognize and honour Integrity Management Committees and their MDAs and Local Councils included; the House of Parliament, Ministry of Defence, Office of the Ombudsman, Sierra Leone Maritime Administration, Office of National Security, Office of the Vice President, Bo City Council, Koinadugu District Council, Makeni City Council, Bombali District Council, to name but a few, for fully complying with the implementation of the recommended actions contained in the NACS.
It also serves as an inspiration and motivation to other MDAs who have not complied to do so in the future.
It could be recalled that the 2021 Monitoring Report of the implementation of the NACS indicated an 84% compliance rate among all MDAs monitored.
The NACS Secretariat strongly believes that there is room for improvement and therefore encourages all MDAs and Local Councils to cooperate and support the NACS implementation process.
The handing over of the certificates to Heads and Representatives of the deserving MDAs and Local Councils by the ACC Commissioner, Francis Ben Kaifala Esq., climaxed the ceremony.