By: Martina George
The Public Education and External Outreach Department of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has held an awareness raising activity on the Grievance Redress Mechanism (GRM) component of the Social Safety Net (SSN) Covid-19 Emergency Response Program with beneficiaries of the program in Waterloo in the Western Area Rural District. The event took place on the 23rd June, 2022.
ACC’s Western Area District Monitor, Kadiatu M. Conteh, gave an overview of the GRM in the SSN Covid-19 program. She highlighted its significance and impact on the people, which she noted has improved the standard of living of beneficiaries.
Communication Officer Martina George established the role of the Commission in the project, which involves mainstreaming of anti-corruption measures in public institutions to enable them provide effective and efficient services to the public. She said that poor people have been the biggest victims of corruption, noting that the effects of the scourge affect both current and future generations.
Miss George therefore called on all- especially the women of the community- to take the lead in the fight by ensuring that services that are supposed to be free are not abused by public officers. She added that key amongst many efforts that should be made by the public is to report corruption cases to the ACC through the toll-free lines of 077 985-985 and 077 986-986.
ACC’s Senior Communication Officer Margaret Jones said the primary objective of the engagement was to ensure that the Commission achieves one of its core mandates of educating and seeking public support in the anti-graft campaign. She admonished the audience to see the corruption fight as a battle for all and sundry, while also encouraging them to take the required action to forestall corrupt practices in their communities by reporting any suspected corruption activities to the Commission.
She explained some of the key activities undertaken by the Commission in the last two months, including the conclusion of investigation on issues relating to payment made to ‘Non-staff personnel’ of the Freetown City Council by the Mayor, allegations of bribe made by the Governor of the Bank of Sierra Leone, etc.
During the question and answer session, the beneficiaries gave account of how the SSN project has positively impacted their socio-economic wellbeing, and thanked the ACC and the World Bank for ensuring transparency and for providing the cash support respectively.