COMMENTARY FROM A PUBLIC POLICY ANALYST
© Paul A. Conteh, Communications and PR Consultant, ACC
Giving rewards for extra work done is nothing new in our society. The concept is as old as time itself. In the academic arena, educators do offer students additional credit opportunities. There are specifically established benchmarks students should accomplish before getting such a reward. In the business world, customers and companies can offer rewards. The restaurant waiter might receive a massive tip from a happy customer for his excellent service. A corporation can set aside a special innovation challenge package for employees contributing to new product development. Sports clubs offer players incentives to qualify for a major tournament or win a trophy. The reward and incentive scheme of the Anti-Corruption Commission is parallel to the examples from other spheres of society.
The re-introduction of this reward and incentive scheme is a step in the right direction. Section 139 of the Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2008, as amended in 2019, mandates the Commission to withhold 10% of the overall asset value of money recovered from any person or institutions investigated for offences under the Act, and use same on its operations. The ACC has in order to sustain public commitment, and improve on its national and international ratings, committed 10% of the 10% of funds withheld to be given to any member of the public that provides valuable and vital information in the prosecution and conviction of corrupt persons, including public officials.
The Commission’s leadership is constantly and consistently exploring and adopting new best practices to solidify and sustain the momentum of the war. They hope that this strategy will increase citizens’ confidence in the Commission; people will have another reason to supply the Commission with corruption-related information and revive the energy of the populace as a strategic partner in the war on corruption. The Commission has vowed to implement protocols on confidentiality and protection of informants and whistleblowers, as stated in Section 81 of the Anti-Corruption Act 2008 (amended in 2019).
The success of the scheme primarily lies in the hands of the Commission. The leadership should strive to ensure the payments of rewards are reasonably fulfilled to informants and whistleblowers, the credibility of the process is enhanced, and all levels of the process should observe issues around anonymity and security. In turn, this will fully rally the populace to implement the reward and incentives scheme recently re-introduced by the Kaifala-led Anti-Corruption Commission.