By: Martina George-Communications Officer, ACC
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) on Thursday the 20th January, 2022 at the Ministry of Social Welfare (MoSW) Conference Room, New England Ville Freetown, presented a Monitoring and Compliance Report to the Ministry of Social Welfare on compliance with the implementation of ACC’s Systems and Processes Review Recommendations. The Ministry was reviewed with the view to identifying practices and procedures that may lead to corruption and corruption-related activities so as to secure the revision of those practices as mandated by Section 7(2) of the Anti-Corruption Act of 2008 as amended in 2019.
Elucidating on the overview and purpose of the exercise, Deputy Director, Prevention Department, ACC, Patrick Martin George, stated that pursuant to previous systems and processes review that were done in different MDAs, it was evident that some MDAs have not been adhering to the recommendations made by the Commission. He emphasized that the Commission is poised to enforcing stringent actions on any MDA that is found wanting in this regard.. He encouraged the Ministry of Social Welfare to ensure that they put more effort in implementing the recommendations proffered by the Commission.
Acting Head, Monitoring and Compliance Unit, ACC, Ibrahim Sorie Kamara-Kay whilst establishing the scope and objectives of the meeting explained that the Compliance Unit used the systemic process to sample seven of the Ministry’s District Offices as well as the Head Office in Freetown. Some of the objectives of the monitoring intervention in 2020, he underscored were, to measure the levels of compliance with the recommendations proffered by the Systems and Processes Review Unit of the ACC by the MoSW. He furthered that another objective is to assess the effectiveness of the MoSW Headquarters in overseeing the implementation of ACC’s Systems and Processes Review recommendations at District level.
After a detailed presentation, the score of the Ministry was 58%. This compliance score according to Section 4.3 of the Compliance Management and Sanctions Enforcement Handbook is termed as Moderate Compliance and requires a Warning Letter to be sent to the Management of MoSW reminding them of their obligation to comply with ACC instructions in line with Section 8(1) of the AC Act 2008 as amended in 2019.
In their submissions, the Permanent Secretary, Alfred Lahai and other staff of the MoSW applauded the work of the ACC and made comments with regards some of the recommendations that the Ministry did not comply with. Suggestions were also reeled in as to how to improve the compliance rate of the Ministry. Mr. Lahai stated that they have seen the grey areas that needed to be addressed and some of the issues which have already being addressed will be communicated effectively to the various District Offices. He also acknowledged the accuracy of the presentation done by the ACC, and promised to help provide the enabling environment for each and every staff to discharge their responsibilities.