By: Alex A. Bah, Public Relations Assistant, ACC
The Deputy Commissioner (DC) of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), Augustine Foday Ngobie on Tuesday 14th August, 2023, urged public officers who have just assumed various offices to eschew acts of Corruption in the conduct of their respective duties for the development of Sierra Leone. He made this expression whilst making a Presentation on the Role of Anti-Corruption Structures and Systems in the Public Service at the Orientation workshop on Public Service Systems, organized for appointed Heads of various Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), at the Freetown Conference Center, Aberdeen, Freetown,
Mr. Ngobie encouraged these Heads to eschew corruption disclosing that the ACC has its fierce Elite Scorpion Squad that has recently been “re-energized” as part of its numerous aggressive mechanisms to tackle corruption.
The Deputy Commissioner explained the background and work of the ACC, noting that it is a Government agency that only leads the fight against Corruption, and the onus to tackle corruption rests on all citizens. He defined Corruption as a dishonest conduct that most often constitute bribery and furthered that it is an ungodly and illegal practice that has immersed the public sector and affects its overall effectiveness and productiveness.
Mr. Ngobie underscored that the ACC’s primary mandate is to tackle Corruption that he described as a “menacing terror”, and said this mandate came about in 2000 when the institution was established. He continued that the establishment of ACC was predicated on the Recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) Report, and by an Act of Parliament, the Commission was established.
“The 2000 Act provided for the Commission to make a conscientious effort to tackle the insidious plague”, he averred.
The DC furthered that the 2000 Act was repealed and replaced by the 2008 Act, and in 2019 came in an amendment that he noted, tightened the bolts with Assets Declaration for public officers taking up and leaving office to do so within 3 months, administrative sanctions that include eventual dismissal and other matters. “The Assets Declaration is an accountability tool that determines and regulates the income as opposed to lifestyle of public officers’, he added.
Continuing his presentation, the Deputy Commissioner said, the ACC’s approach in the fight against corruption is patterned around; Prevention; Systems Review of the Practices and Procedures of Public Bodies, Public Education, Assets Declaration and NACS. He furthered that the Investigation and Prosecution is another front of fighting corruption as the ACC has its Intelligence Officers, Elite Scorpion Squad, battery of Investigators and shrewd Prosecutors.
The DC climaxed his presentation by informing participants about the many successes the ACC has had over the couple of years that include; the over 90% conviction rate, the recovery of over Forty (40) Billion (Old) Leones, through its Non-Conviction Assets Based Recovery Model, and paid same to State coffers.
He added that the Country has been performing exceptionally well in every local and international assessments that include; the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Scorecard moving from a failing 49% in 2017 to an excellent score of more than 70% for five consecutive years.
Mr. Ngobie concluded by explaining the Structure and Composition of the Commission including its various Departments and the work they undertake.
Similar presentations were also made by other Heads of Various Government MDAs.