The North West Regional Office of the Anti-Corruption Commission has on Thursday 16th December, 2021 updated representatives of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and media institutions on its successes and challenges in the two years of existence in the region at the Karene District Council conference hall in Kamakwie.
The CSO and Media Update is one of the public education activities undertaken to apprise the media and CSOs on the operations of ACC and other related issues therein.
Speaking at the engagement, the Regional Manager Al-Hassan Sesay said the media and CSOs have an important role in the fight against corruption as it can demand accountability and transparency from the public and private sector in managing public resources.
Manager Sesay said as a Commission, partnership and coalition building was integral to promoting change in public attitudes and practices as well as fostering public support in winning the fight against corruption.
Acting as the people's voice, he said, corruption affects every facet of the country’s socio-economic, political Development and the need for partnership to augment the work of the commission becomes a critical component of the fight against graft. "It is very important you continue to raise your voices on issues of public concerns," he noted.
Updating participants on the operations and activities of the North West Office, Manager Sesay said following the Commission's extension of its presence to the North West Region in 2019, the North West Regional office has considerably increased awareness as it embarked on an aggressive public education and outreach across the region and reinforced a very robust approach to the fight against corruption as well a palpable impression on the minds of citizens that involvement in corrupt practices would no longer be business as usual.
He went on to state that the North West office has made positive interventions in its prevention drive that has brought adherence to best practice for service delivery institutions. He made reference to development and review of service charters, overt operations and on the spot checks as preventive drive geared towards addressing corruption. As a way spreading our tentacles across the region, the office has strengthened the visibility of ACC through the deployment of District Monitors in Port Loko, Kambia and Karene Districts and recruitment of over eighty Community Monitors across the region under the Social Safety Net project.
The ACC Regional Manager disclosed the number of reports received from the public and actions taken including referrals and cases in court.
Commenting on its successes in education and prevention, the Regional Head also pointed out that they have also registered successful outcomes in deepening accountability and transparency in public bodies across the region. He urged them to resist, reject and report corrupt practices to the ACC as and when they experience or come to their attention. "ACC staff are not everywhere, so the Commission relies on your support to fight the menace together" he emphasized. He disclosed that the North West office recovered over 120 million Leones in 2021 and charged two matters in court. He also updated them on the caseload, number cases completed and referrals to other MDAs.
Representative for Civil Society Forum in Karene District Duramany Boima acknowledged the significant strides made by the ACC and noted that with continued collaboration, CSOs will to raise their voices in demanding transparency and accountability.
Questions, comments and concerns from the participants formed the climax of the engagement.
© ACC North- West Office