The National Anti-Corruption Strategy (NACS) Secretariat has on Monday 9th May, 2022 held engagements with stakeholders of the Bo District and Bo City Councils respectively, as part of the NACS Secretariat’s continued efforts to foster compliance and ownership of Integrity Management Committees (IMCs) by the Top Management of the different Local Councils.
In all engagements, as this one, the specific objectives as explained by the Director of NACS Nabilahi-Musa Kamara, were to strengthen the effectiveness of oversight in the implementation of the anti-corruption strategy by local councils, to ascertain compliance with the actions allocated to Councils and track their performance in line with the NACS Implementation Action Plan, and lastly, to foster ownership and accountability of the process of implementation and the functionality of IMCs.
The Director NACS also said, so far, only two (2) Local Councils-Pujehun District Council and Kenema District Council have been able to score high compliance rate of 91% and 82% respectively, but all other Councils across the country scored slightly above 50%, which is moderate compliance showing that, the Report is not all gloomy and there is still hope that others can emulate the high scores of the best performing councils. Mr. Kamara pointed out that the neglect of the Internal Auditors by council authorities was the reason for the poor performance of most Councils noting that, the area of procurement has tremendously improved over the years as the Report indicates a 100% compliance rate on procurement.
Great improvement has been made in terms of implementing the Strategy and the efforts of stakeholders in the Local Councils have not gone unnoticed but there is still more to do if the Strategy is to get high compliance ratings at the end of its planned foldup in 2023, the Deputy Director NACS Secretariat, Edita Fofana underscored, whilst addressing the Chairman and staff of the two Councils. She also noted that, the commitment of the heads of the institutions should be gingered up, so that they (top management) can be knowledgeable of the fact that the Strategy is a national document and everyone should be involved in its implementation.
It is not an ACC document as others would want to believe it to be. The ACC is only there to provide guidance, support and direction on maintaining the IMCs, but the burden of implementation is on the MDAs, she furthered.
At the engagements were two (2) NACS Steering Committee Members, Winston Mella-Jalloh and Bockari Conteh, who encouraged stakeholders to take ownership of the IMCs, as posterity will judge their stewardship in ensuring a corrupt free society during their leadership.
The Chairman of the Bo District Council, Joseph Munda Bindi was full of praises for the ACC for such engagements, as it will guide them in their work and help to prevent corruption. He also called for the intensification of such engagements within MDAs. He stated that, it was very good people no longer see the Commission as a tyrant or a monster as fear will hinder the people from reaching out to the ACC.
On her part, the Chief Administrator (CA) Bo City Council, Veronica J. Fortune, agreed to their score of 55% but promised to do better. She pointed out that they are working with the IMC to make significant progress in subsequent monitoring exercise.
These stakeholders’ engagements in the South with officials from the NACS Secretariat and top managements of the Local Councils have been very interactive, bringing out the spirit of commitment and ownership of the IMCs by council authorities and the need to implement the NACS Implementation Action Plan and be among the top performing Councils.
It could be recalled that similar engagements had been held in the North, where commitments by Local Council authorities were made to own the Strategy as if it were theirs.
©Public Relations Unit, ACC