By: Martina George
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has presented a report on the review of budget allocations and utilization in the water sector to the Ministry of Water Resources. The presentation took place on Thursday 10th February, 2022 at the Conference Room of the ACC’s 3 Gloucester Street Head Office in Freetown.
Budget allocations is an integral component of the annual financial plan or budget of all ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs), as they indicate the level of resources an MDA is committing to a department or program. Without allocation limits, expenditures can exceed revenues and this can result in financial shortfalls.
Deputy Commissioner of the ACC Augustine Foday Ngobie while giving the welcome remarks said the Ministry of Water Resources has a very crucial mandate to provide the required leadership in the water sector for adequate and reliable water supply to be provided to citizens. He reminded the audience about the role of the Commission in building systems and processes of MDAs as provided for by the Anti-Corruption Act 2008 as amended in 2019. Mr Ngobie called on the Ministry to implement the recommendations in the Report with the seriousness that it deserves.
Director of the Prevention Department, ACC, Rashid Turay, whilst giving an overview of the Report, advised the Ministry to implement the recommendations and make sure that responsibility is given to the Integrity Management Committee (IMC) of the Ministry to ensure full implementation of the recommendations. He said that, apart from the monitoring of the implementation of the recommendations, the Commission might also engage the Ministry on emerging issues that require the Commission’s intervention.
Giving a short statement, Deputy Director of Prevention Department, ACC, Martin P. George, said that the Department is the friendly face of the Commission as they use the ‘carrot approach’ in executing the work of the Commission. He reiterated that most often MDAs invite the Commission to review their systems and processes and emphasized on the role of the ACC in leading the fight against corruption in every sphere of society.
Systems Analyst, ACC, Muctarr Manansu Conteh, presented on the findings and recommendation of the review exercise. He said one of the findings is that even though the Ministry’s budget preparation is participatory, there is however no evidence to show that departmental budgets are prepared to form the consolidated budget. He said one of the recommendations, therefore, is for every operational unit within the Ministry to prepare their budget in line with their work plan.
Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Water Resources, Alhassan Koneh, in his statement, said the Report reflects what transpired between the Commission and the Ministry, and went further to acknowledge the “the outstanding effort of the Commission in putting together such a report”.
Formal presentation of the Report to the Ministry climaxed the event.