By: Alex A. Bah, Public Relations Assistant, ACC
At a Strategic Training for Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs) on the theme ‘Combating Corruption Focusing on Asset Recovery with a Human Rights Based Approach’, the Deputy Commissioner of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), Augustine Foday Ngobie, has called on MDAs to work conscientiously for the good of the country and ensure that integrity, transparency and effective service delivery be their fundamental footstool.
The training, which was held at the Methodist Church Hall, Kingharman Road, Freetown, on Thursday, 31st August, 2023, was organized by the Human Rights Defenders Network Sierra Leone (HRDN-SL) in partnership with Restitution Impact Limited.
In his address, Mr. Ngobie said that the Commission is mandated to take all steps necessary for the prevention, suppression and eradication of corruption and corrupt practices. He said this mandate extends to review practices, processes and procedures in MDAs with a view to identify vulnerabilities, and proffer recommendations and best practices for improved and quality service delivery.
He said that, in the past five years, the ACC has reviewed over 14 MDAs and will continue to deliver on the task of identifying corruption risks and proffering suitable recommendations. “We are here today, to build on the synergy we have built with the hope that we collectively work to ensure that the socio-economic needs of the citizens are met and not trampled upon,” he added.
Mr. Ngobie noted that collaboration in the fight against graft is key, as articulated in the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC). He said that it is with this same spirit that the ACC crafts and implements National Anti-Corruption Strategies. These strategies, he said, are largely in line with the pillars of integrity. “Sierra Leone is developing the 5th Generation of its National Strategy which will serve as the blueprint to direct and guide MDAs in addressing corruption issues in their entities,” he said.
The Deputy Commissioner further noted that the ACC collaborates with HRDN-SL because the Commission knows the significance of employing human rights based approach in the fight against corruption. Public sector institutions are key, especially those whose mandate and activities reside in the protection of human and people’s rights, he stated.
He assured his audience of the Commission’s unreserved support to the HRDN-SL within the framework of its mandate, and therefore encouraged MDAs to grasp the teachings in the training, emphasizing on the importance of knowledge.
Earlier, Co-Founder and Director of Restitution, Chris Duckett, spoke about the work of Restitution, noting that they work with States to help recover and return stolen assets. He noted the negative impacts of corruption, adding that the working relationship with HRDN and the ACC is to help address this menace.
The training focused on two key areas; International Disclosure and Discovery for State Parties, facilitated by PALLAS, UK, and the Processes of Investigating Corruption to support Clients in International Disputes, facilitated by Matt Bell of Forward, UK.
©️ Public Relations Unit, ACC