12. Published by the Anti - Corruption Commission Headquarters: 3, Gloucester Street, Freetown, Sierra Leone, West Africa Tel. No: 223645 Website: firstname.lastname@example.org Bo Office Address: 10 Bo Pujehun Drive, Kebbie Town Email: email@example.com Makeni Office Address: Mena Hill Reservation, Makeni Kenema Office Address: Reservation Road, Off Maxwell Khobe Street Kono Office: 37 Masingbi Road, Koidu City, Kono Port Loko : 27 Conteh Street, Port Loko Hotline Nos: 077 - 985985 , 077 986 986 , 515 (All Networks)
11. Page 11 Efforts to curb examination malpractices: Taking the message to BECE and WASSCE candidates of the St Joseph’s Convent Secondary School, Brookfields ACC North - West Region Office engages Karene District Health Management Team during an in - charges meeting at the Kamakwie Town Hall ACC Southern Region Office engaging personnel of the Sierra Leone Police in Moyamba on the contents of the recently - released Corruption Perception survey by CARL ACC Sub - regional Office in Kono in an interactive engagement with officials of the Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education to curb examination malpractices ACC North - East Region Office engages NACSA’s Senior Management in Makeni on corruption control measures ACC Eastern Region Office engages EDSA staff in Kenema to curb electricity theft and malpractices in the Energy Sector ACC Commissioner, Deputy and other Senior Management Staff at the presentation of the 2019 Annual Report to President Bio at State House ACC Commissioner handing over keys of recovered stolen vehicle, assigned to former Deputy Minister of Works Khadijatu Olamatu Seisay, to the Minister of Transport and Aviation Kabineh Kallon
5. Page 5 T he Anti - Corruption Commission (ACC) continues to provide the space for strategic discourse with key stakeholders (pillars of integrity) on corruption issues specific to their sectors to promote transparency and professional best practices in service delivery. In this regard, the North - East Regional Office of the ACC on Wednesday 16th July 2020 engaged education stakeholders at its regional office in Makeni. In her presentation, ACC Regional Manager North - East, Mariama Navo, said the engagement was intended to forge an alliance with key players in the education sector to eliminate examination malpractices in the upcoming public examinations. The Regional Manager defined transparency as „always doing the right thing in a clear and open manner‟. She asserted that examination malpractice is a menace which has the tendency to nurture sycophancy as against hard work. „Examination malpractice undermines the authenticity of the examination, fraudulently gives unfair advantage to the parties involved and contravenes the rules and regulations of examinations‟, the ACC Regional Manager said. She said it is therefore important for candidates to earn the grades they deserve. Miss Navo dilated on a number of offences related to academic malpractices, as prescribed in Section 128 of the Anti - Corruption (Amendment) Act 2019; warning that upon conviction on any of the offences, the penalty is a fine of not less than Fifty Million Leones or a jail term not below five years, or both fine and imprisonment. The Regional Manager urged the participants to inculcate the tenets of integrity by avoiding extortion, adhere to professional standards and set assessment criteria that ensure compliance to institutional ethics. Dilating on the issue of poor educational standards, representatives from the Teaching Service Commission, Free Quality Education Secretariat, West Africa Examination Council (WAEC), District Education Office, civil society organisations, the media, Sierra Leone Police, Conference of Principals and Head Teachers Council, highlighted a number of factors they thought are responsible for the status quo. These, they pointed out, include: failure on the part of different players to own up to their responsibility, offering or soliciting of bribes for examination favours, circumventing the admission process, compromise by law enforcement agencies, societal pressure to pass public examination as it is regarded as a mark of success, and the failure by State authorities to cater for school dropouts as re- quired by the 6334 programme. The participants reaffirmed their commitments to the cause of curbing examination malpractice and called on the different players to stick to their responsibility. Earlier, Public Education Officer of ACC Jeneba Kemoh described the engagement as a forum to dialogue with partners on pertinent education issues that seek to save the soul of the country's education system. The meeting was chaired by Public Education Officer Abdulai Saccoh, who in his welcome statement, said the fight against corruption does not discriminate but rather focuses on curbing bad habits, behaviours and attitudes that have the potential to destroy the nation. Participants and staff of the ACC North - East Region Office during the engagement
6. Page 6 By Oswald Hanciles alias The Guru EDITOR’S NOTE: In this edition of the newsletter, we bring you some of the responses of renowned social and polit- i c a l c o m m e n t a t o r O s w a l d H a n c i l e s t o g e n e r a l c o r r u p t i o n i s s u e s i n t h e s o c i a l m e d i a . T h e G u r u , a s h e i s fondly called, is columnist of the famous Oswald Hanciles Column, known for giving apt commentaries on issues of democratic good governance, especially transparency in public office and the fight against corruption in Sierra Leone. He served in the Media Team in the Government of Ex - President Ernest Bai Koroma. T he Anti - Corruption Commission (ACC), which is mandated to prevent corruption, to investigate and prosecute corruption, has been functioning smoothly in the past two years under the leadership of the young and dynamic Francis Ben Kaifala Esq. In fact, the ACC has earned impressive laurels over the past two years. There is this Report commissioned by the Center for Accountability and Rule of Law (CARL), with funding from the British Government's Department for International Development (DfID), with support from Christian Aid, Restless Development, and Budget Advocacy Network (BAN). This Report states that 51% of people think that the SLPP Government of Retired Brigadier Maada Bio is doing a good job of fighting corruption - 3 years ago, only 41% of people thought that way. The Report states that of those who were interviewed, 91.3% held the view that the ACC has had the greatest impact in the fight against corruption. Another impressive variable in the Report for the ACC is this: People interviewed think that with the Ben Kaifala - led ACC, only 47.7% of "sacred cows" would escape the ACC's net (it is NOT what is happening O; it is what the people think!) – before his term, people think that 57% of "sacred cows" would not be nabbed by the ACC. You know what "sacred cows” are, but, some people may not know. "Sacred cows" are, for example: If the ACC is investigating an alleged corruption against a Joe Kamara, someone could call from the Office of the President, or some high ranking official of the governing party (APC or SLPP) and order the ACC Commissioner, saying, "Joe Kamara financed our party during the election; so, drop the case against him". The ACC Commissioner would then obey, rubbishing the Parliamentary - empowered "independence" of the ACC. Maybe, that is why the Report says that 73% of those interviewed say corruption is still a big problem in Sierra Leone. The Report says religious leaders should be targeted to help in the fight against corruption; and for the ACC to draw CREDIBLE LINKS between "corruption, poverty and the conspicuous consumption of the elites"; and to look into the corruption in key PRIVATE SECTOR operations - like those who operate transport; and those who build and rent houses. 'Boku woke still dae for do for fet corruption nar Salone'. Still, there are big laurels for the ACC. The latest Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) 2020 Scorecard report published on 1st November, 2019, has seen Sierra Leone register an EXTRAORDINARY 79% out of possible 100%. It is the biggest ever rating in the country's effort in controlling corruption, since the establishment of the ACC some 19 years ago, and the first back - to - back pass since the (MCC) rating began. The MCC's Control of Corruption Indicator is an index of surveys and expert assessments that rates countries (by credible institutions like Transparency International, and Afro - Barometer) on their abilities to reduce 'GRAND CORRUPTION' in the political arena ('dem civil servant en politician dem way dae tiff dem one million dollars wan tehm wan tehm'); the frequency of petty corruption ('lek way dem police dae demand and take bribe narokada and keke riders demhan'); the effects of corruption on the business environment; the tendency of elites and private interests to engage in 'state capture' ('ee go mean say, a few people in government and political party in power would get, or, influence most government contracts, and if you are not part of them you would be excluded); the strength and effectiveness of a Contd. Pg 7
9. Page 9 T he Anti - Corruption Commission (ACC), in press release dated 29 th June, 2020, stated that there are no clear evidence of misappropriation of funds by officials of the National Commission for Social Action (NaCSA) and/ or their partners following investigation into allegations of misappropriation of public funds by officials of NaCSA and a staff of the ACC. The investigation came about from a video footage screened by the Africa Young Voices (AYV) Television on 12 th May, 2020, in which, supposed beneficiaries of a Government of Sierra Leone cash transfer to cushion the effect of the three - day lockdown, complained about paying staff depriving them of their full payments. These complaints were made by some beneficiaries of the payment centre at 10 Arabic College Road, Makeni, Bombali District. After a careful and prompt investigation, the Commission found out that, “the list used to pay beneficiaries emanated from the various partners working with NaCSA and was not generated by NaCSA itself. It was further revealed that payment of beneficiaries commenced on Saturday 2 nd May 2020 at the Makeni City Council and Two hundred and seventy - six people (276) were paid on that day.” The release further states:“On Monday 4 th May 2020, payment recommenced and payment teams were divided into two groups to expedite the payments to beneficiaries. Team One was headed by Brian Smart - Kanu and they paid beneficiaries at the Makeni City Council and Teko Veterinary. The other team was headed by Sheik Ahmed Bobor - Kamara; and JohnetteKanu, the ACC District Monitor, was part of this team. This team paid beneficiaries at National Commission for Persons with Disability (NCPD) office at Frontier Road and 10 Arabic College Road. Payments went well in all three payment points except, for 10 Arabic College Road, where there were alleged incidents of corruption as captured by the AYV video footage.” The investigations further revealed that “a Mary Kamara, also a beneficiary, residing at the 10 Arabic College Road admitted that she machinated and participated in the scheme of calling neighbours and passers - by to stand in as proxies for four registered beneficiaries who were absent on the day of the payment. These were: Isatu Kamara - Will, Fatmata Tarawalie, Isatu F. Koroma, and Sonita Koroma. Mary Kamara made a fraudulent agreement with the four persons that when they answer to the names of beneficiaries that were absent, Forty Thousand Leones (Le40, 000) would be given to each of them (the proxies) as token reward for their stand - in for the absent registered beneficiaries and the remaining amount would be retained by her in trust for the legitimate beneficiaries. The Paying team was not aware of these illicit arrangements and the investigation has not led to any evidence to show that the NaCSA team solicited and/or received any money from Mary Kamara or any of her fraudulent proxies.” The ACC investigation therefore concludes that, “the Commission has no clear evidence of misappropriation of funds by officials of NaCSA and/or their partners; but there is a clear situation of weak policies, in some instances no procedures as to how to undertake such ventures. Adequate measures were not put in place to forestall corrupt activities by staff of NaCSA, its partners and the beneficiaries because of the rush to implement the safety net Cash Transfer Payment by the Government, and the sudden announcement of the pending lockdown due to Covid - 19 spread fears. More importantly also, there was no identity check of beneficiaries before payments were effected which left room for duplicity and lack of transparency in the process.” The Commission therefore recommended for a “review of the policies surrounding such payments as the process around it appears to be mostly ad hoc ; which leaves room for corruption and corrupt practices in the list generation, payment and fraudulent activities by some disingenuous beneficiaries.”
4. Page 4 ACC Regional Manager South, Musa Jawara, highlighting public concerns to NRA Officers in Bo T he Anti - Corruption Commission (ACC) Southern Region Office, on the 10 th July 2020, engaged senior officers of the National Revenue Authority (NRA) in Bo on issues of corruption and risk factors, as expressed by members of the public in respect of revenue generation. The engagement took place at the ACC Regional office in Bo. Speaking during the engagement, ACC‟s Southern Region Manager, Musa J.B Ja- wara, said that partnership is key in the fight against corruption and that such an engagement seeks to let public institutions know how members of the public perceive their operations in respect of service delivery. He said that, through his regional office‟s outreach activities, several corruption risk - related issues were raised by the public, such as the undervaluation of goods, nonpayment of taxes by commercial/business enterprises, embezzlement of tax revenue paid to NRA and the exemption of some businesses from paying taxes not mandated by law. Mr. Jawara also highlighted corruption - risk factors such as tax evasion, collusion between tax officers and tax payers, failure by some public institutions to deduct withholding taxes for payments of goods and services and the issuance of NRA clearance to undeserving suppliers and contractors. He craved the attention of senior NRA officers to address these concerns in a bid to prevent revenue loss to the State. Speaking on the offences in the Anti - Corruption Act 2008 as amended in 2019, Resident Prosecutor, Abubakarr Sannoh Esq., said that revenue genera- tion is the backbone of the country‟s economy and therefore requires full compliance of the law to prevent corruption and enhance national development. The ACC Prosecutor said that the anti - corruption laws have made corruption a high risk and unproductive enterprise, making reference to several offences in the amended Act and its parent Act; such as abuse of office/position, bribery, and misappropriation of donor/funds, conflict of interest, protection of public property and revenue and using influence for contract. He therefore implored the senior officers of the NRA Bo Office to caution their staff to stay away from corruption, as many of those offences carry a minimum fine of Fifty Million Leones (Le50, 000000) or five (5) years imprisonment, or both fine and jail term. He made reference to some former staff of NRA and other public institutions that have faced the wrath of these provisions. Responding to the issues highlighted by the ACC, Manager of Domestic Tax Department NRA Bo, Alex Mambu, described the engagement as an opportunity for the NRA to hear firsthand concerns of corruption in revenue generation and to take the necessary actions in preventing same. He said all the issues raised by the public will be looked into with very keen interest. Mr. Mambu however noted that there are challenges in his office‟s revenue generation drive, but that such challenges are surmountable. He said that some public institutions are non - compliant in deducting the 5.5% withholding tax for goods and services acquired, and that there is most times a failure to pay such revenues to the NRA in instances where they are deducted. He therefore promised to avail the ACC with names of such institutions, and also assured of the imposition of penalties on defaulters, as mandated by law. Question - and - answer session climaxed the engagement.
7. Page 7 country's policy and institutional framework to prevent and combat corruption. You know what Sierra Leone scored in the MCC's Control of Corruption Scorecard in 2017? - 49%. Sierra Leone FAILED in Corruption! In 2018, with Ben Kaifala in charge of the ACC, Sierra Leone PASSED the Control of Corruption Scorecard with flying colours - 71%!! Una clap for Ben Kaifala!! In 2019, Sierra Leone‟s Ranking in the MCC's Scorecard was 79%!! From 49% in 2017!! “Call all dem youth man dem en demtitidem for dance with the under - 40 - years - old Ben Kaifala: nardem yone man way daefet for dem!” That is not all! Sierra Leone now ranks NUMBER ONE in West Africa in Transparency International's rankings of Government effectiveness in the fight against corruption. 'U know wartin dat mean? If the Norwegians and Singaporeans who hate corruption want to invest or give international aid to a country in West Africa and ask "which is the least corrupt country in West Africa"; the unequivocal answer would be: "SIERRA LEONE". Ben Kaifala should not rest on his oars. Of the 54 countries in Africa, Sierra Leone is NUMBER 3 in Transparency International's ranking in government's effectiveness in fighting corruption. Run...run...run... Ben Kaifala...try for NUMBER ONE in Africa. Go for the Gold Medal in the fight against corruption, Ben Kaifala!! The SLPP majority in Parliament has in the 2019 Amendment to the AC Act 2008 empowered the ACC to get involved in the award of government contracts, in collaboration with the National Public Procurement Authority. This means no more padding of contracts - making a contract valued at Le2 billion into Le10 billion; and the Bio Administration has influenced the establishment of a Special Anti - Corruption Court). (Source: Sierra Leone Telegraph, November 2, 2019; written by Moris I. Kanteh). The Ben Kaifala - led ACC has had an almost 100% conviction rate. 'Wartinee mean is dat: way ACC take an alleged corrupt person to court, ACC nor dae loss case under Ben Kaifala!!'. Maybe, that is why some people being investigated for corruption would confess, decide to pay back into government coffers some of the monies they would have stolen from government - not to waste their time in court cases they know they are likely to lose with the extremely sharp lawyer Ben Kaifala as ACC Commissioner. In just two years in office, Ben Kaifala has recovered about TWENTY BILLION LEONES of such stolen money. That is far more funds recovered than all the more than fifteen years before Mr. Kaifala took over the leadership of the Commission. You would know that my piece is patriotic excitement and not just PR for Ben Kaifala when I tell you this. [Something civil society organisations should start working on]: Why can't civil society bond together and invite private sector finance experts in the West to help ferret out the very corrupt who have hidden their loot safely in foreign banks! In the mountainous terrain of Freetown, even the blind can see the fruits of corruption in the thousands of huge mansions that have been constructed over the past 18 years or so. It is in Sierra Leone that you see huge $450,000 houses owned by citizens but you NEVER would see businesses that would mean these houses have been built with honest income. That's another article: on the "Unexplained Wealth" clause in the AC Act of 2008 which successive ACC Commissioners appear reluctant, or, scared, to invoke!! By Oswald Hanciles alias The Guru Contd from Pg 6
3. Page 3 T he Anti - Corruption Commission (ACC), on Tuesday, 30 th June 2020, held awareness - raising meeting with members of the Kono District Health Management Team (DHMT) in the DHMT‟s Conference Hall. The engagement reflected the ACC‟s target of empowering Government institutions with relevant information on the drawbacks of corruption, and the need to fight against the scourge for improved public service delivery and development. Delivering the keynote address, the ACC Regional Manager in the District, Hawanatu Omotayo Kamara, described corruption as a major barrier to effective service delivery. She stressed that the costs of corruption in the country, in terms of cash loss, are huge with serious damage to the wellbeing of citizens. Mrs. Kamara extolled the DHMT, making reference to their bravery, in helping to contain the spread of COVID 19 across the district. She however urged the health service providers to ensure they strictly observe integrity, transparency, and accountability in carrying out their commitment to the public. „As you are fully aware, the country as well as the world is badly affected by the outbreak of COVID - 19. While the Government and its partners together with health care workers are trying to snuff out the pandemic, it is important to note that corruption is an equal foe and we should deal with it robustly as we are with COVID19, she averred.‟ She opined that if the DHMT proved susceptible to corruption, more so under the present health challenges, effective health services to communities would be a tall order as such services to patients would be minimal and ineffective, and the death toll would likely go higher. Investigations Officer Sahid Sowa said, although the engagement had a prevention purpose, it was important to note that the ACC had not eased up its determination to launch continuous assault on corruption. As far as the Commission was concerned, he added, no one was above investigations, indictment, and prosecution in respect of all forms of corruption. He made reference to the Anti - Corruption Act of 2008 as amended in 2019, quoting some examples of corruption offences and the penalties thereto. Mr. Sowa warned: „I would like to inform you that the ACC has no friends when it comes to investigating corruption matters. The law is applied squarely and fairly, and it is always safe not to be involved in any act of corruption, however strong the influence may be.‟ Public Education Officer, Aiah P.M Sourie, also made input to the discussions. He said the Commission could not fight corruption all alone, and that every effort needed to stifle the scourge would make significant difference. He further said, „Although the ACC takes the lead to combat corruption in Sierra Leone, it partners with institutions to win its cause. He therefore encouraged the DHMT to join the Commission to fight a good fight for the common good. Speaking on behalf of the DHMT, the District Medical Officer (DMO), Dr. Gerald M. Young, said he appreciated the interaction with the ACC, as it served as a motivation to strive towards maintaining integrity, transparency, and accountability within the DHMT. He revealed that despite the challenges at the DHMT, they are trying very hard to uphold acceptable standards. He encouraged his colleagues to consider the session with the ACC as a timely guideline in carrying out their responsibilities and duties to the public. „Don‟t be involved in corruption. Do your work with integrity, and I am sure you will have no problems with the ACC,‟ DMO emphasized. ACC Team and the District Health Management Team during the engagement in Kono
8. Page 8 T he Anti - Corruption Commission (ACC) Regional Office in Kenema, on the 20th June 2020held customized sensitization engagements with Pillar - Heads of the Kailahun and Kenema Districts COVID - 19 Emergency Re- sponse Centers (DICOVERCs) to identify and discuss general corruption issues in the management of funds and other resources meant for the fight against the corona virus disease. The engagement is a preventive drive to remind COVID - 19 response teams to be mindful in the discharge of their responsibilities and always adhere to the recommended best practices. Speaking at meeting with the Kailahun DICOVERC, ACC‟s Public Education Officer Sylvanus Blake extended felicitations and appreciation from the Commissioner, Deputy Commissioner and Management of the Commission to the team for their efforts and sacrifices to the nation to curb the pandemic. Mr. Blake assured them of the ACC‟s partnership with the National COVID - 19 Response Centre (NACOVERC) and encouraged all to guard themselves against practices that can undermine the nation‟s efforts to win the war against the pandemic. He said that the Commission has a zero tolerance strategy to all forms of corrupt practices and will robustly act on any allegation of corruption emanating from the COVID - 19 response. The Public Education Officer informed his audience about the rationale behind the establishment of the COVID - 19 Transparency Initiative Task Force by the ACC and encouraged all to adopt best practices in the use of public funds and resources. At a similar meeting with staff of the Kenema District COVID - 19 Response Team, held at the DICOVERC office in Kenema, on 16th July 2020, the ACC Eastern Regional Manager Keifala Koi said, the engagement is a public education and prevention drive to ensure that resources meant for the COVID - 19 fight are judiciously used. Mr. Koi highlighted some corruption offences, like misappropriation of donor and public funds and property, violation of procurement rules and conflict of interest and their corresponding penalties, as provided in the Anti - Corruption Act 2008 as amended in 2019,. The Regional Manager called on all to uphold the values of integrity, accountability, and transparency in their operations. In his statement, the Coordinator of DICOVERC Kenema, Umaru Vandi Kondovor expressed his gratitude for the meeting, describing it as timely, especially so when the national response centre is recruiting more staff and undertaking several activities dealing with public and donor funds and other resources. A very interactive question - and - answer session climaxed the engagements. Staff of the ACC and DICOVERC Kenema after the engagement
10. Page 10 A s a way of addressing key corruption issues in the operations of the Serra Leone Police (SLP), the North - West Regional Office of the Anti - Corruption Commission (ACC) on Wednesday 15 th July, 2020, engaged personnel attached at the Lungi Police Division to raise awareness, enlist their support in combating corruption and strengthen the relationship between the Commission and the Force. Welcoming the ACC team, the Local Unit Commander of the Division Superintendent Franklyn Bawoh described the meeting as an important step to educate personnel, as well as guide their activities and conducts in relation to the provisions of the Anti - Corruption Act 2008 as amended in 2019. Addressing personnel, the North - West Regional Manager of the ACC Al - Hassan Sesay said that the ACC considers the SLP as a responsible partner and values their support in the fight against corruption; adding that when corruption thrives in the SLP it will have an adverse effect on other sectors. Commenting on the recently published corruption perception survey report by the Centre for Accountability and Rule of Law, Mr. Sesay said, the report named the SLP as the most corrupt institution, which was indicative of the interactions and perceptions held by the public about the Police. He encouraged the officers to maintain high ethical standards in carrying out their duties in a bid to change these negative perceptions the people have about them. He emphasized that police officers are public officers and are therefore covered by the AC Act of 2008 as amended in 2019. Mr. Sesay gave a brief explanation of some of the various offences in the Act, including offering, soliciting and accepting advantage, abuse of office and position, misappropriation of public funds and property, receiving gift for corrupt purposes, among others. He also noted that, with the 2019 amendment Act, the Commission has been empowered to cancel all contracts deemed not to be in the public interest and has also made the assets declaration regime more robust and effective. “Corruption has had a devastating effect on the nation‟s development and this amendment has made corruption a very risky venture to undertake,” he emphasized. Mr. Sesay without mincing of words mentioned the “invisible Scorpion Squad that will sting on anyone engaged in the act of corruption”. In his statement, Senior Public Education Officer Sahid Mohamed Kamara said the engagement should be seen as an educational and preventive drive for the officers to resist acts of corruption and support the Commission in the campaign to curb the scourge. Public Education Officer Mohamed Thullah spoke on the role of the senior management of the police in the fight against corruption and in maintaining ethical standards in the work- place. He highlighted various methods of reporting corruption to the ACC and the crucial role reporting corruption occupies in combating the scourge. After an interactive question - and - answer session, the ACC Team handed over Information, Education and Communication materials to the Lungi Police Division. Officers of the Sierra Leone Police during the engagement
1. Issue 11 Volume 34 August 2020 ACC Commissioner Francis Ben Kaifala Esq. formally presenting the Commission’s 2019 Annual Report to HE President Dr Julius Maada Bio at State House T he Anti - Corruption Commission (ACC) on Thursday 6th August, 2020, presented its 2019 Annual Report to His Excellency President Dr Julius Maada Bio, as part of its obligations and mandate to account for its stewardship. ACC Deputy Commissioner, Augustine Foday - Ngobie, said that they were presenting the report in fulfilment of the provision in Section 19(1) of the ACC Act of 2008 as amended, noting that the report comprehensively chronicled the overall activities of the Commission and captured details on all departments for the year under review. He said that 2019 could be safely described as a year of remarkable success for the Commission, taking into consideration the achievements and success stories both locally and internationally. He also said that they were “Today, the presentation of this report gives us an opportunity to reaffirm my Government‟s commitment to fighting this war on corruption. As I say often, this is a war we must fight and it is a war we must win,” he said. “First, in 2019, I signed into law the Anti - Corruption Amendment Act of 2019 in fulfilment of both a manifesto and public commitment I made... Second, the Special Anti - Corruption Division was established in the High Court with five (5) dedicated Judges to exclusively sit on ACC cases. Third, the Honourable Vice President, Dr. Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh, on behalf of my Government, launched my Government‟s strategic blueprint that includes the public and private sectors in fighting corruption. Fourth, our international reputation has been enhanced because our international rating on controlling corruption and corruption perception indices are all very favourable. Fifth, Sierra Leone scored 79% in the Millennium Challenge Corporation control of corruption indicator. This was an improvement on the 71% score in 2018 during our very first year in office. Clearly, this was a significant improvement on the failing score of 49% scored by our predecessors. Sixth, surveys carried out by independent civil society organisations and funded by foreign governments, indicate significant improvements in fighting corruption,” he concluded. able to strengthen the Commission through the amendment of the laws which had made corruption a high risk but low return venture. “Your Excellency, the Commission remains very grateful to you for the determined and inspiring leadership demonstrated towards the fight against corruption and the general work of the Commission. I also extend our thanks to the Ministry of Finance for its support in the payment of salaries, provision of recurrent expenditure and development,” he said. In his remarks, President Bio started by commending the leadership and staff of the Commission for the report and for their unwavering commitment to the fight against corruption over the last year. “Since I assumed office, I have prioritised fighting corruption because it is a threat to our development as a nation. A corrupt country is adverse for economic and social development, foreign direct investment, effective service delivery, fair play and equal opportunity, equal access to justice and the rule of law. CREDIT: STATE HOUSE MEDIA AND COMMUNICATIONS UNIT
2. Page 2 T he National Anti - Corruption Strategy (NACS) Secretariat has completed its second engagement on the first quarter monitor- ing of the NACS 2019 - 2023 with the Steering Committee. This event took place on the 17 th June, 2020 at the Conference Room of the Office of the Vice President, Tower Hill, Freetown. Welcoming the team from the ACC and members of the Steering Committee, the Minister of State, Office of the Vice President, Francess S. Algali, encouraged all to be vigilant in the fight against corruption and the COVID - 19 pandemic. Speaking on the functionality of the Integrity Management Committees and compliance, which is key to the implementation of the NACS 2019 - 2023, she said, necessary actions will be taken to ensure best practices for a win - win situation between the ACC and public offices. She also pledged Government‟s support to the Secretariat on its sustainability strides. Making his presentation, the Deputy Commissioner of ACC, Augustine Foday Ngobie, thanked the Minister for chairing and hosting the NACS Steering Committee. He said, the Commission is very determined to lead a robust fight against corruption. The Deputy Commissioner further said, prevention is a very important strategy in the anti - corruption campaign and that the Commission will ensure that all public offices integrate anti - corruption policies in their activities. “There will be no sacred cows in this process,” he warned. Dilating on the purpose of the engagement, the Director of NACS at the ACC, Nabillahi Musa Kamara, reiterated the core values of the NACS which include, among others, to promote and implement corruption prevention measures and raise public awareness on same. He also mentioned that compliance with regards the NACS can be assessed at two levels; the „structural level‟ where Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) are required to submit a work plan and supporting documents of same, whilst the other level is the „process level‟ where the Secretariat verifies whether the supporting documents are factual with regards implementation. He encouraged the Steering Committee to support the Secretariat in combating the challenges encountered during the first quarter monitoring. Deputy Director at the NACS Secretariat Edita Fofana, in her presentation, mirrored the NACS as she took the Steering Committee through the successes and challenges as observed from the first quarter monitoring report. She noted that, strengthening of systems, procedures and processes to prevent corruption in MDAs is what the NACS is all about, adding that this cannot be achieved by the ACC alone, but through the determination and collective efforts of all. Reactions, comments and recommendations for the next steps climaxed the occasion. ACC Deputy Commissioner Augustine Foday Ngobie and Members of the Steering Committee during the Meeting at the Office of the Vice President EDITOR - IN - CHIEF Abubakar Turay EDITORS Margaret Murray Moris Ibrahim Kanteh LAYOUT & GRAPHICS Philippa M Davies EDITORIAL ADVISERS Patrick Sandi Emmanuel Koivaya Amara Alhassan Kargbo
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