By: Bernard Abass Kargbo, Public Education Officer, ACC
On November 11, 2022, at the Office of the Vice President (OVP), Tower Hill, Freetown, members of the National Anti-Corruption Strategy (NACS) Steering Committee met with the NACS Secretariat to discuss and address matters pertaining to the roll-out of the current NACS (2019-2023), and also be updated on the monitoring exercise of 2021 and the levels of compliance with the implementation matrix as prescribed by the Strategy.
Making a brief statement during the engagement, the Director of the NACS, Nabilahi-Musa Kamara pointed out some of the challenges they face with non-responsive MDAs, who have never yielded to the call of the Secretariat nor complied with the provisions thereof. He continued by stating that MDAs that refused to comply with the NACS will face the full force of the law as provided for in Section 8(4) of the Anti-Corruption Act of 2008 as amended in 2019, which gave powers to the Commissioner to impose sanctions on non-compliant MDAs.
He underscored that, the Steering Committee is responsible to supervise the overall implementation of the Strategy and to provide an independent opinion on the implementation process before the ACC takes action.
Making the presentation on findings during the 2021 monitoring process, Moses Al-Hassan Bangura, Senior Monitoring and Compliance Officer at the ACC gave statistics on the gains made so far in the implementation of the Strategy. He informed the Steering Committee that, the monitoring exercise had four (4) main objectives, which were; To measure the progress, performance, and compliance score of each MDA and local council in regard the implementation of the outstanding action points, identify challenges, opportunities and an understanding of the implementation methods and approaches; make a comparative analysis between quarter 1&2 and quarter 3 & 4 in the implementation of action points and finally to produce and present a report on findings and recommendations that will enhance effective service delivery in the MDAs.
In his presentation, it was clear that the key focus areas were the functionality of the Integrity Management Committees (IMCs), Internal Audit System, Procurement System, and Human Resource and Administration.
Mr. Bangura further noted that, significant improvement was made in the 3rd and 4th quarter monitoring as compared to the 1st and 2nd quarters of the year under review, with a cumulative compliance rate of 84% with only 16% of action points remaining, whilst there is still one year to the end of the current implementation action plan.
It was agreed by the Steering Committee based on the recommendations from the Secretariat that; IMCs in the various MDAs should hold regular quarterly meetings in line with the prescribed ToR, and the Management of MDAs should establish and strengthen an Audit Report Committee in order to ensure accountability, IMC Focal persons should coordinate and document the activities of their respective MDAs in order to update their files, MDAs with moderate compliance scores be issued with letters consistent with Section 4.3 of the ACC Compliance Manual, MDAs short of full compliance be made to progressively attain full compliance status with the remaining implementation action plan as indicated in the Compliance Matrix in the Appendix, and finally, MDAs that have been fully compliant be awarded a Certificate of compliance for excellent performance.
The NACS Steering Committee which sits in the office of the Vice President has the mandate to oversee the implementation of the Strategy. The Committee provides insight as to how the NACS should be implemented and also reviews monitoring reports submitted by the Secretariat.
(C) Public Relations Unit, ACC