The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Southern Region office has on Thursday 3rd February, 2022, at the Conference Hall, Bo District Council, trained employees of over fifty Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in Bo on how to complete the online assets declaration form.
The assets declaration is an accountability tool meant to promote integrity in public life and as well prevent public officials from participating in corruption.
In his statement, ACC’s Regional Manager, South, Momodu Sittar underscored the significance of the training exercise, noting that, it was intended to increase the understanding of public sector workers on the processes and procedures involved in filling the online assets declaration form. Manager Sittar said the exercise is consistent with the Commission’s strategic approach to take all steps necessary to prevent, suppress, or eradicate corruption and corrupt practices in Sierra Leone. He reminded the participants that the assets declaration exercise is now done bi-annually, and within three months of becoming a public officer and also within three months upon ceasing to be a public officer.
He advised them to take the exercise very seriously as the Commission will stop at nothing to invoke the relevant provisions in the Anti-Corruption Act 2008 as amended in 2019 to punish defaulters.
ACC’s Senior Public Education Officer, Abdulai Saccoh informed the trainees that, prior to the amendment of Section 119 of the AC Act 2008, all public officers were to declare their assets, income and liabilities, but in 2019 when the amendment was enacted, the categories of persons who should declare have been limited to public officers in grade seven (7) and above, below grade seven (7) but with fiduciary responsibilities, persons holding elected office and Presidential appointees.
Mr. Saccoh through a power point presentation explained the processes and procedures involved in filling the online assets declaration form hosted on the Commission’s website www.anticorruption.gov.sl. He admonished the participants that the mandatory prerequisites which a public officer should possess before he/she would be able to access and fill the form are valid email address and either a social security number or employee identification number. Mr. Saccoh informed them that computer, smart phone and any mobile device with internet facility can be used to complete and submit the form. He encouraged public officer to endeavor to submit a complete assets declaration form to ACC on or before 31st of March as stipulated in the AC Act 2008 as amended in 2019. Mr. Saccoh concluded that similar training exercise will be conducted in Pujehun, Moyamba and Bonthe Districts, respectively.
Explaining the purpose of the training, ACC’s Public Education Officer, Yangie Deborah Sesay informed participants that the training exercise was conducted to capacitate public sector workers with the required skills needed to complete the online assets declaration form. Madam Sesay disclosed that the Commission has decided to go digital this year with the assets declaration process in order to phase out the dependence on paper to manually collect and store data. She emphasized that this digital process will save the Commission’s time and resources. She described the training as training of trainers, of which participants are expected to share the knowledge and skills acquired with other colleagues.
Question and answer session climaxed the training.