An independent institution established for the prevention, investigation, prosecution and punishment of corruption, corrupt practices and to provide for other related matters. 

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By: Martina George

The Prevention Department of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has presented a report titled ‘Monitoring for Compliance on Fleet and Fuel Management in the Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education and Ministry of Technical and Higher Education’. The presentation of the Report took place on Thursday 13th January, 2022 at the ministries’ New England Ville building in Freetown.

The Report follows a monitoring and compliance exercise conducted by the Department months after the conduct of a systems and processes review of the two ministries. The review was meant to address cases of misuse of fleet and fuel in the two ministries. These issues were highlighted in the Auditor General’s reports of 2018 and 2019 and the systems and processes review that was jointly conducted by the ACC and the Directorate of Science, Technology and Innovation (DSTI) on the transfer of Government vehicles between 2018 and 2019.

The presentation commenced with the Deputy Director of the Prevention Department, ACC, Patrick Martin George giving an overview as well as establishing the purpose and scope of the Report. In his statement, he emphasized on the various roles and responsibilities of ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs), with regards the compliance rate of recommendations emanating from systems and processes reviews.

Dissecting the compliance rate of the two ministries, Monitoring and Compliance Specialist and Acting Head of the Monitoring and Compliance Unit of the ACC Ibrahim Sorie Kamara-Kay, explained that the review covered selected district offices of the Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education and the Ministry of Technical and Higher Education in Freetown.

Mr Kamara-Kay further showed the compliance rate of the respective ministries with the Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education averaging 43% on a scale of 0-100%. This average, he said, is pursuant to section 4.3 of the Compliance Management and Sanctions Enforcement Procedure Handbook on Systems and Policy Review Recommendations and it represents a very low compliance rate.

The Ministry of Technical and Higher Education, on the other hand, had an average compliance rate of 62%, which is termed as ‘Moderate Compliance’.

Mr. Kamara-Kay also established the objectives of the presentation, which he said was to remind the Management of the two ministries of their obligations to ensure full compliance with ACC’s systems and processes review recommendations. He said the presentation was also to report to the management of the ministries the respective compliance scores and to highlight recommendations not fully complied with for necessary actions.

Programs Coordinator of the MBSSE Amara Sowa applauded the work of the ACC and made some remarks with regards some of the recommendations that the Ministry did not comply with, especially in the area of fleet management.

Mr Kamara-Kay responded by stating that, according to the Handbook on Systems and Policy Review Recommendations, the Management of the Ministry should write a letter to the ACC Commissioner noting reasons why some particular recommendations would not be applicable. He said the Commissioner might accept, advice or refute depending on how reasonable the reasons are.

Presentation of the Report to the two ministries climaxed the event