The National Anti-Corruption Strategy (NACS) Secretariat in collaboration with the Southern Region Office of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has concluded a week-long monitoring of Local Councils in the Southern Region that ran from Monday 30th May to Friday 3rd June 2022. The monitoring exercise, which was separately conducted at the Bo City and District Councils, Moyamba District Council, Bonthe Municipal and District Councils, and Pujehun District Council, respectively, was witnessed by members of the Integrity Management Committees (IMCs) and core staff of the six Councils.
In his statement, the NACS Manager, Wilfred Bangura, said the exercise was intended to assess the progress local councils have made so far in the implementation of the NACS work plan and the challenges encountered. Mr. Bangura said the exercise should not be misconstrued as a witch-hunt meant to put local councils in a bad light but rather as an accountability process to help build integrity systems in public sector institutions.
Mr. Bangura said that those Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) who are in full compliance with the NACS action matrix, will be recognized by the ACC with a Certificate. He appreciated the efforts of those who continue to do the right things in the execution of their responsibilities even in the absence of supervision.
In his remarks, ACC’s Senior Monitoring and Compliance Officer, Moses Bangura said the monitoring focused on four critical thematic areas; internal audit, procurement, human resources management and administration, adding that it also looked at other actions captured in the councils’ NACS action matrix. He reminded them of their previous standing in the last NACS monitoring exercise, noting that it was expected that a lot of progress must have been done since they have learned from the past.
The Chairman of the Pujehun District Council, Sheikh Siddy Sowa, commended ACC for prioritizing the prevention approach in addressing issues of integrity, accountability and transparency in local councils. The Chairman assured the Commission of their commitment to adhere to anti-corruption measurers captured in the NACS work plan. Such interventions, he said, has helped them to strengthen their internal anti-corruption systems.
The Chief Administrators of the other councils guaranteed the ACC team of their utmost commitment to the process so that they will be among the full compliant institutions.
ACC’s Senior Public Education Officer, Abdulai Saccoh assured members of the local councils’ Integrity Management Committees of the Commission’s willingness to work with them to continue to build an effective transparent and accountable system. Mr. Saccoh stated that the implementation of the NACS does not mean the ACC has relinquished its prosecutorial responsibility and other existent duties.
The National Anti-Corruption Strategy (NACS) is Sierra Leone’s national plan to coordinate anti-corruption efforts. The current NACS (2019-2023) is the fourth generation Strategy focusing on confronting corruption, which is as a threat to every sphere of national development. It also exists to build an ethical and accountable public service that promotes zero tolerance for corruption to inspire integrity, transparency, accountability and the rule of law.