The Regional Office of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) in Kono has, on Tuesday 8th November, 2022, in a customized meeting conveyed integrity messages to staff of the Electoral Commission, Sierra Leone (ECSL) in Kono.
The engagement which took place at the ECSL office in Koidu City, is part of the Commission’s preventive approach to identify, address and deter the occurrence of corruption and promote integrity values in the daily discharge of the duties and responsibilities of employees in the public service space.
Underscoring the significance of the engagement to the ECSL staff, Senior Public Education Officer, Sam P. Gogra noted that part of the mandate of the Commission is to form strong alliances with notable institutions, and solicit their unwavering support in winning the fight against corruption. He continued that tackling this menace especially in the public sector, requires sustained partnership and collaboration among institutions providing essential social services to the public.
‘’Institutional commitment against corruption must be your priority by mainstreaming anti-corruption measures in your operations as it will help to guide staff in their day to day activities,’’ he added, whilst emphasizing on the importance of functional Integrity Management Committees (IMCs) within public institutions, charged with the responsibility to identify corruption opportunities and address them.
Mr. Gogra further highlighted some of the key corruption offences often committed by public officers and the private sector including but not limited to; bid rigging, violation of procurement rules, conflict of interest, bribery, corrupt acquisition of wealth, possession of unexplained wealth, failure to declare income, assets and liabilities, misappropriation of public and donor funds or property, to name but a few. He warned that any public officer or person convicted on any of the above offences will be fined not less than 50,000 (New) Leones or serve a prison term of not less than five (5) years.
In her submission, ACC’s Public Education Officer Kono, Hawa Deen Conteh disclosed that the strides and efforts made by the Commission especially in the last four years have yielded huge dividends. She talked about the revolutionary reforms, and the corresponding incremental success of over 90% conviction rate of all the cases charged to the High Court under the strong leadership of Francis Ben Kaifala Esq.
She further informed them of the excellent performances the country has made in various local and international rankings and assessment in combating this menace–corruption. She also spoke about the many systems and processes review successfully conducted in a number of Ministries, Departments and Agencies of Government, and the numerous Integrity Management Committees established in over 90% of the MDAs.
’’With these mind-blowing achievements by the Commission, I therefore encourage you to provide your unflinching support to the fight by resisting, rejecting and reporting all suspected incidents of corruption and corrupt practices through the toll free lines 077-85985, 077-986986, as prompt actions would be taken to address same,’’ she ended.
Responding, the Kono District Elections Manager (DEM), Usman J. Kamara thanked the ACC for engaging and sensitizing his staff on the various forms of corruption, which he said will guide their operations and enhance quality service delivery. He further stated that his institution has always upheld the principles of accountability, transparency and integrity in their operations and the distribution of public resources.