As a way of preventing and addressing incidences of corruption in the public service, the North-West Regional Office of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has on Wednesday 15th December 2021 urged staff of the District Health Management Team (DHMT) in Kamakwie to enhance best practices and uphold integrity in the exercise of their functions and operations.
According to the Public Education Officer Mohamed Thullah, the engagement was conducted to sensitize staff on the general work of the Commission, key corruption issues in the operations of the Team and solicit support from staff. He explained the three pronged approaches to the fight against graft.
Addressing staff of the team, the Regional Manager Al-Hassan Sesay recognized and acknowledged the importance of the DHMT in providing and managing the delivery of primary health care in the district and in ensuring a healthy workforce. He went on to note that working in the DHMT either on voluntary and on casual basis makes all of the staff public officers and by extension are covered by the ACC laws. He stated that over the past two years significant attention has been given to Port Loko and Kambia districts noting, that similar focus will be replicated to Karene district as most public officers tend to ignore government policies and guidelines because they think the district is far removed from the regional headquarters.
Commenting on approaches in the fight against graft, Manager Sesay pointed out that corruption prevalence or it's semblance may sometimes lead to preventive action or investigation to addressing corruption loopholes in institutions. He emphasized that actions or inactions relating to compliance and best practices, management of fuel allocation and usage, asset listings, protection of public funds and property as well as collusion with the private sector for the purposes of fake receipts and over invoicing are of great importance to the ACC. He therefore cautioned them to be cognizant of the law and the presence of the ACC in the region.
He further explained key offence in the Anti-Corruption Act that bother on; offering, soliciting and accepting an advantage, receiving gifts for corrupt purposes, misappropriation of public/donor funds and property, and double dipping, time theft, and various extortion practices prevalent in Peripheral Health Units (PHUs) across the district which are punishable offences.
Senior Public Education Officer Junisa Sankoh registered the commission's position to compliance to government's policies, best practices and conformity to internal controls. He also noted attendance, punctuality and integrity as major concerns to the ACC and encouraged the leadership to put in place internal control measures to enhance compliance to best practices.
Earlier in his brief statement, the District Medical Officer Dr Chernor Jalloh thanked the ACC for engaging and educating their staff on corruption issues and to also guide their conduct in the process of delivering health care services. District Health Sister 1 Isatu Bosco Kamara also expressed similar sentiment of support to the ACC and called for the Commission to increase public education engagement with the sector and to intensify effective collaboration between the two institutions.
Presentation of IEC materials and question and answer session formed part of the engagement.
© ACC North- West Office