The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has trained staff and volunteers of the West African Youth Network (WAYN), a partner organization that compliments the Commission’s work, on Protection Mechanism and Standard Reporting of Corrupt Practices.
The Training, which took place at the WAYN office at 79 Pademba Road, Freetown, is part of the institution’s Education Project funded by the German Civil Peace Service, implemented in collaboration with Patriotic Advocacy Network. The project is geared towards addressing issues of corruption, injustice and marginalization in schools.
Giving a brief welcome address, Administrative Officer of WAYN Raymond Beckley, said that the objective of the training is to capacitate their staff and volunteers to specifically have a thorough insight on how corrupt activities are reported and the processes involved, so they can be better positioned to take the message to their direct targets who are students.
Communications Officer of the ACC, Alex A. Bah, facilitated the training session. He explained the processes involved to report acts of corruption including, but not limited to, through the Commission’s toll free lines, the website, a letter, or in-person to any of the Commission’s offices in Freetown, Bo, Kenema, Kono, Makeni and Port Loko.
Mr. Bah also explained about the work of the Report Center of the Commission, with its exclusive function to receive complaints from the public. He went further to explain about the Complaints Review Committee that reviews all complaints received for the appropriate steps to be taken. He said matters reported that constitute corruption are directed to the operational Departments of the Commission (Intelligence and Investigations, Prevention or Public Education), while the others are directed to the appropriate Ministry, Department or Agency of Government.
The Communications Officer highlighted the protection offered by the Commission to Informers, Whistleblowers and Witnesses. This, he said, is very key to the Commission’s work. He referenced sections of the Anti-Corruption Act of 2008 as amended in 2019 that mandate the Commission to take all necessary steps to keep the identity of its informers discreet, analyze their safety and provide them with maximum security. To this end, he also talked about the penalties for people that will make false and malicious reports to the Commission.
A question and answer session climaxed the training.