7th August, 2020
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), on 6th August, 2020, in compliance with Section 19(1) of the Anti-Corruption Act of 2008 (as Amended), presented its 2019 annual report to the PRESIDENT, RTD. BRIG. DR JULIUS MAADA WONNIE BIO, at State House, Freetown.
Presenting the report, Deputy Commissioner, Mr. AUGUSTINE FODAY NGOBIE, said that the “Report comprehensively chronicled the overall activities of the Commission, and captured detailed activities of all Departments for the year 2019.” He pointed out that “the year 2019 could be safely described as a year of remarkable success for the Commission, taking into consideration the achievements and success stories both locally and internationally.” The Deputy Commissioner, Mr. Ngobie, thanked President Bio’ for his “determined and inspiring leadership demonstrated towards the fight against corruption and the general work of the Commission.”
In his remarks, President Bio praised the leadership and staff of the ACC for their “unwavering commitment to the fight against corruption over the last year.” He pointed out that since he assumed office, he has “prioritized fighting corruption because it is a threat to our development as a nation.” He added that “a corrupt country is adverse for economic and social development, foreign direct investment, effective service delivery, fair play and equal opportunities, equal access to justice and the Rule of Law.”
For the period under review, Sierra Leone passed the Anti-Corruption Amendment Act of 2019. This law has significantly strengthened the anti-corruption legal regime, strengthened the powers of the Commission, and addressed challenges that had undermined the success of the ACC. The ACC Commissioner, FRANCIS BEN KAIFALA, maintained that “the law fully empowers the ACC to make corruption very expensive and more efficiently confront corruption.”
Similarly, Sierra Leone has also scored high in other global and regional anti-corruption rankings. In the 2019 Millennium Challenge Corporation’s Control of Corruption Indicator, Sierra Leone scored 79%, moving from 71% in 2018, and from 49% in 2017. In the Global Corruption Barometer of 2019, Sierra Leone ranked 3rd out of 35 African Countries surveyed on “Government’s Effectiveness in the Fight against Corruption.”
In Transparency International’s Global Corruption Ranking, Sierra Leone progressed ten (10) places upwards, moving from 129 in 2018, to 119 out of 180 countries surveyed in the 2019 Transparency International Corruption Perception Index. The country also increased its score from a stagnant thirty (30) points in 2016, 2017, and 2018, to thirty-three (33) in 2019, making a three (3) points gain, scoring above the sub-Saharan average of 32. For the first time, in more than five years, Sierra Leone is ranked under 120, and the thirty-three (33) points scored is the highest the country has ever achieved since its inclusion in the TI index.
The Center for Accountability and Rule of Law 2019 National Perception Survey revealed that 92 % of Sierra Leoneans think the ACC is creating the best impact on the fight against corruption. 51% of the respondents say government’s effort over last 12 months in the fight against graft has been good; and that it was more common to pay bribes 3 years ago than in the last 12 months. The presence of sacred cows has decreased from 57% to 47%.
In terms of recoveries of public funds and public revenue for the year 2019, under the non-conviction-based asset recovery, the Commission has recovered more than Nineteen Billion, Seven Hundred Million Leones (Le 19.7 Billion).
Within the same year, the Commission completed the crafting of the National Anti-Corruption Strategy (NACS 2019-2023) following the implementation of the 2014-2018 NACS. The overall objective was to develop a responsive NACS that will reduce incidences of corruption, control corruption in public sector and enhance economic sustainability.
For the year under review, the Prevention Department made various interventions across MDAs, including full reviews of six (6) key MDAs, and systems interventions in various national revenue generation institutions, and monitoring of fuel management in key ministries.
Expressing his views on the summary of the achievements of the Commission in 2019, and projecting the way forward, the ACC Commissioner, FRANCIS BEN KAIFALA declared that: “2019 was undoubtedly the best year so far in the fight against corruption for Sierra Leone with record-breaking assets recoveries, convictions, and campaign. We also scored the highest points and scores ever in all global and local surveys and indices on corruption.”
Based on the aforementioned successes, the Commission wishes to further reassure the general public of its unshaken resolve to fight acts of corruption anywhere in Sierra Leone.
For further enquiries on this and other ACC matters, please contact Margaret Murray, the Public Relations Officer on +232-78-832131 or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
DEPUTY DIRECTOR, PUBLIC EDUCATION AND OUTREACH