By: Bernard Abass Kargbo – Public Education Officer, ACC
The Commissioner of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) on Thursday 9th February 2023, hosted the Steering Committee Meeting of the Open Government Partnership (OGP) at the Commission's Conference Room, 3 Gloucester Street in Freetown under the supervision of the National Anti-Corruption Strategy (NACS) Secretariat.
This engagement was to discuss the progress that has been made in the implementation of the National Action Plan 4 (NAP-4), the completion strategies, and the development of NAP-5.
The OGP is guided by the NAP-4 which seeks to address the difficulties of increasing citizens' participation in the extractives and beneficial companies that are engaged with the Government, ensures that everyone has access to justice equally by reforming the justice system or using conventional dispute resolution procedures, make Parliament more transparent to the public, strengthen the bond between Parliament and Civil Society Organizations, and make sure that the national election process is free, fair, and impartial.
NAP-4 according to the OGP Coordinator Madam Hannah Hamida Jimmy, was aimed at four thematic areas; Equal access to justice for all, Open elections (free, fair, and credible), Open Parliament, and Sierra Leone Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative all of which Sierra Leone has made tremendous progress in.
In his welcome statement, the Commissioner of ACC, Francis Ben Kaifala Esq. assured his audience that the ACC values openness, stating that “the bedrock of accountability is openness, accessibility…” which he noted are the tenets OGP stands for. The Commissioner furthered that, he was among the founders of the OGP in Sierra Leone. Mr. Kaifala also noted that the ACC has incorporated what OGP wishes to achieve, through citizens’ engagement and access to information, “at the ACC we have always worked with institutions that are geared towards this, and improving our ability to serve the people of Sierra Leone”.
Stating the purpose of the meeting, Madam Hannah Hamida Jimmy, OGP Coordinator intimated to her colleagues that they will be discussing the progress on NAP-4 implementation for the implementing agencies present, followed by a presentation on the road map for completing the NAP-4 and developing NAP-5.
The meeting was climaxed with presentations from different Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) on their assigned and specific activities and progress made so far.