The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) remains focused to promote ethical values and safeguards in public sector institutions in order to enhance personnel output and protect public resources.
In that vein, the Southern Region office, ACC, on Monday 7th February 2022, held in an interactive session with core and support staff, councilors of the Moyamba District Council and the devolved sectors to shed light on accountability issues raised in the Auditor General’s Report 2020.
In his statement at the Conference Hall of the Moyamba District Council, Moyamba Town, ACC’s Regional Manager, South, Momodu Sittar acknowledged the bravery of some sectors that continue to mainstream accountability reforms geared towards improving the delivery of quality service to the public. Manager Sittar furthered that the Commission does not have the luxury of time to accommodate calculated blunder of few individuals to dent the country’s accountability credential. He recognized that issues captured in the audit report mirrored how some public sectors workers are averse to change. Mr. Sittar said despite national decisions are made by few people, yet it is the unsuspected masses who suffer most especially when such actions are influenced by corruption. Manager Sittar advised participants to see this engagement as a wake- up call to enable them act swiftly and address the specific issues mentioned in the audit report as they relate to the Council.
Manager Sittar dilated on Sierra Leone’s remarkable upward progress in the Transparency International Corruption Perception index 2021 noting that despite a good number of countries surveyed performance stagnated, Sierra Leone continues to perform better amongst sub-Sahara Africa countries for the past three years by moving from 130 in 2018 to 115 in 2021 out of 180 countries surveyed.
The ACC’s Senior Public Education Officer, Abdulai Saccoh said, the move by the Commission must be seen as a systematic and deliberate step to address audit issues using diverse approaches. Saccoh reminded the participants of their responsibility to serve the nation diligently noting that failure to adhere to such vow is considered as unpatriotic. Mr. Saccoh also stated that failure to collect local tax precepts, failure to collect own source revenue, breach of processes and procedures, lack of clear and comprehensive policy to manage public programs are practices which have the tendency to undermine the growth of public sector institutions. He admonished participants to put the interest of the nation first and desist from dishonest practices because they may amount to corruption and are punishable by law.
ACC’s Senior Corruption Prevention Officer, Francis K. Lassayo underscored that, audit issues cannot be exclusively categorized as corruption but often signal that acts of wrongdoing are happening which require prompt and appropriate actions. Mr. Lassayo also said that integrity and professional ethics are the bedrock needed to build an accountable society. He asserted that public sector institutions are in a deplorable state due to weak systems and blatant disregard for existing regulatory framework.
In his statement, the Chairman Moyamba District Council, Joseph B. Mbogba appreciated the Commission’s prevention drive to promote best practices in the operation of public sector institutions. Chairman Mbogba assured the Commission of their commitment to build on the gains already achieved and promised to institute anti-corruption safeguards.
The Public Education Officer, ACC, Mohamed A. Kabba in his submission affirmed that, the engagement was in tandem with the Commission’s strategic approach to ensure pillars of integrity become more viable and productive. Mr. Kabba asserted that amongst the reasons why public sector institutions are unproductive is due to lack of transparency and accountability in the management of public funds. He further said, corruption will continue to thrive as long as Government employees fail to follow basic processes and procedures guiding their day to day work.