November 2021 NEWSLETTER
11. ACC Commissioner Francis Ben Kaifala Esq. conferred as a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management and Leadership at the West Africa Leadership Summit in Lagos, Nigeria. ‟Meet the School‟ campaign: A pupil of St. Paul‟s Secondary School in Puje- hun posing a question to the ACC Team. .„Meet the School‟ campaign at the Methodist Girls High School in Freetown: Public Education Officer Bernard Abass Kargbo speaking on issues of integrity. ACC hosts High Level Consultation with Stakeholders of the World Bank - funded SSN Program. Deputy Commissioner ACC Augustine Foday Ngobie making his statement at the meeting with the Gambian Delegation. Training of new ACC Partners: Director of Public Education and Outreach Patrick Sandi presenting on the role of partners in the fight against corruption . „ ACC‟s new Southern Region Manager Momodu Sittar interacts with stakeholders in Moyamba District. Another prestigious award to ACC Commissioner as “West Africa's Young Leader of the Year” by the West African Leadership and Empowerment Centre in Lagos, Nigeria. Page 11
4. Page 4 T he Society for Democratic Initiative (SDI) and the Information Coalition have awarded the Commissioner of the Anti - Corruption Commission (ACC) for the Commission‘s full compliance with the provisions of the Right to Access Information Act 2013.The Award was presented at a one - day National Stocktaking conference organised by SDI and the Information Coalition for Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and the media. The conference, which washeld at the Hub Hotel in Access Information law. SDI and the Information Coalition have been at the fore- front of the campaign for the legislation of the Right to Access Information law in Sierra Leone. Right to Access Information from public authorities is a fundamental right of every citizen. This right is established in the Right to Access Information Act No.2 of 2013, being an Act to disclose information held by public authorities. The ACC understands that freedom of information is in- dispensable in the fight against corruption. That is why in his statement, the ACC Commissioner Francis Ben Kaifala Esq. said the importance of data - keeping is par- a m o u n t a s w e n o w l i v e i n t h e a g e w h e r e misinformation is now a norm and people who do not have access to information will fill in the gap with negative stories which can destroy the image of an institution. He commended the SDI and its partners for such as laudable venture to ensure that the bill that was passed in 2013 is fully implemented by all public bodies. The anti - graft czar assured SDI of the Commission‘s unwavering support to implement the provisions of the The plaque presented to the ACC Commissioner right to access information law, citing the establishment of the Information Desk at the Commission as a testament. Earlier, in his welcome address, the Executive Director of SDI, Emmanuel Saffa Abdulai, expressed his gratitude to partners in the right to information campaign for their commitment from the inception of the campaign to the current period to get the law implemented and popularized. He said the law is about the promotion of human rights, accountability and transparency, adding that it is now time to popularize the law to the masses. Mr. Abdulai urged MDAs to implement the law and create openness in their activities to bridge the gap between citizens and governments. The Deputy Minister of Information and Communication, Solomon Jamiru Esq., said as State actors who were elected to serve the people, it is of utmost importance to provide citizens the right to access information to create trust between the public and the State. He reiterated Government‘s commitment to the implementation of the Right to Access Information Act.
1. Issue 15 Volume 38 November, 2021 ACC Commissioner Francis Ben Kaifala Esq. (R) presenting a copy of the Commission‟s 2020 Annual Report to the President T he Anti - Corruption Commission (ACC), on 11 th October, 2021, in compliance with Section 19 (1) of the Anti - Corruption Act of 2008 as amended in 2019, presented its 2020 Annual Report to the President, Brigadier (Rtd.) Dr. Julius Maada Wonnie Bio, at State House, Freetown. Presenting the report, the ACC Commissioner, Francis Ben Kaifala Esq., thanked the President for his unwavering support to the Commission. ―Your Excellency, even with COVID - 19, we continue to do our work for the people of Sierra Leone. We thank you for your support and we are appreciative of it,‖ the Commissioner said. He also stated that the work of the Commission shows remarkable progress at all levels of the campaign against corruption. Responding, The President thanked the ACC Commissioner and his team for the great work and success in the fight against corruption, which he said was being acknowledged around the world. He said his Government would continue to give the fight against corruption the seriousness and at- tention that it deserves, noting ―... we must punish the corrupt and it is a fight we must fight, and it is a fight we must win, if we are to de- velop our country.‖ President Bio, therefore, encouraged the ACC to work even harder and continue the good work in a bid to defeat the scourge of corruption in Sierra Leone. The 2020 Annual Report covers the work and activities of the Commission in 2020, especially in the areas of; public education, prevention, assets declaration, national strategy implementation, intelligence, investigation and prosecution. In 2020, the ACC recovered Eight Billion Leones from corrupt persons and secured over 90% conviction rate from cases investigated and charged to court. The Commission also conducted massive systems and processes reviews of public offices as well as public education and outreach activities across the country. It was a year the country scored 81% in the indicator on ̳Control of Corruption‘ in the Millennium Challenge Corporation scorecard and ranked 117 out of 180 countries in the Transparency International Corruption Perception Index. Afro Barometer also recorded a drop in corruption prevalence from 70% to 40%; all of which are new high standards for the country. After the presentation of the Annual Report: Front Row - President Julius Maada Bio (C), ACC Commissioner Francis Ben Kaifala (R) and Deputy Commissioner Augustine Foday Ngobie (L); Back Row - Coordinator of Operations Emmanuel K. Amara (C), Director of Public Education and Outreach Patrick Sandi (R) and PRO Margaret Murray (L)
8. T he Anti - Corruption Commission (ACC) has concluded an awareness raising event with Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in Bo to popularize the Compliance Sanctions Management Procedure Handbook for public institutions. The event took place on Monday 1 st November 2021 at the Conference Hall of the Commis- sion‘s Southern Region office in Bo. The Handbook was developed by the ACC‘s Prevention Department with support from the Open Society Initiative of West Africa (OSIWA). It serves as a blueprint for MDAs to be able to carefully implement recommendations that emanate from systems and processes reviews. In his statement, Director of Public Education and External Outreach Department, Patrick Sandi underscored the importance of the engagement, noting that it was intended to increase public sector workers‘ understanding on the compliance handbook. Mr. Sandi said that although the Commission uses several strategies to combat corruption, prevention is one of the most effective. Director Sandi admitted that the ACC has always put prevention at the forefront of its fight against corruption in the country. “The prevention strategy is one which the Commission believes will go a very long way in addressing the problems of corruption in Sierra Leo- ne,” he said . He however warned that the Commission‘s focus on prevention does not in any way mean law breakers cannot not be investigated or prosecuted in court. Mr. Sandi reminded them of the non - compliance sanctions enshrined in Section 8 of the Anti - Corruption Act 2008 as amended in 2019. The penalties, upon conviction for the abovementioned offence, he said, is a fine of not less than Page 8 Director of Public Education and Outreach Patrick Sandi explaining the contents of the handbook Five Million Leones, which will be levied on the head of the public body. In addition, he noted, disciplinary measures including dismissal or removal from office can be taken, notwithstanding the provisions of the letter of appointment or any enactment to the contrary. Mr. Sandi described the handbook as a useful document which will enable MDAs to evaluate themselves, to see whether they are making progress or not in terms of: non - compliance, moderate compliance, significant compliance or full compliance. He informed them that it is during the monitoring process the compliance sanctions management procedure handbook will be used as a baseline to check or benchmark the implementation. Senior Regional Corruption Prevention Officer, Francis K. Lassayo, said the handbook was developed to ensure that systems review recommendations are adhered to for greater compliance. He noted that it also serves as a guide to State Institutions and private sectors entities to take concrete steps to curb corruption. The engagement was chaired by ACC‘s Regional Manager, South, Momodu Sittar, who stated that if review recommendations were being adhered to by the MDAs, they would address corruption issues and help improve service delivery.
5. S ince his appointment on the 18th June 2018 to lead Sierra Leone‘s Anti - Graft Agency by His Excellency, Brig- a d i e r ( R t d . ) D r . J u l i u s M a a d a W o n n i e B i o , t h e y o u t h f u l , b u t highly competent and experienced Francis Ben Kaifala Esq, has without mincing words, sent the clearest of messages to the corrupt and the world at large that Sierra Leone has repositioned herself unrepentantly to redeem her people from the shackles and indignity of corruption. His leadership has seen Sierra Leone deploying with startling and alluring accomplishments, unorthodox stratagems and techniques in the fight against corruption never seen before. These efforts as affirmed in the Holy Bible; in 2 Chronicles 15:7 “..be ye strong and let not your hands be weak, for your work shall be rewarded” , have culminated in estimable gains, awards and recognitions for Sierra Leone, Sierra Leoneans and the young People‘s Commissioner himself. Prominent among such awards are the 2020 United States Recognition as ―International Anti - Corruption Champion‖ for instance, and hundreds of others. It seems the local and international accolades and acclamations cannot just stop rolling - in for this undeterred and valiant young man. The latest breaking news for Sierra Leone and our compatriots is this; Francis Ben Kaifala Esq. has been meritoriously named as one of the 100 Most Influential People of African Descent (MIPAD) for 2021, in the Politics and Governance category, Under 40, picking him out as one of the High Achievers of African Descent, during this year‘s UN General Assembly. The other categories covered by the award are; Business & Entrepreneurship, Media & Culture, Religious & Humanitarian and Complete Publication. Most Influential People of African Descent (MIPAD) is a global civil society initiative in support of the International Decade for People of African Descent, proclaimed by United Nation's General Assembly resolution 68/237 and to be observed from 2015 to 2024 (the International Decade). ̳ There are around 200 million people identifying themselves as being of African descent just in the Americas. Many millions more live in other parts of the world, outside of the African continent. Studies and findings by international and national bodies demonstrate that, migrants, they (people of African descent) con- stitute some of the poorest and most marginalized groups. They still have limited access to quality edu- cation, health services, housing and social security to name but a few. This has been given rise to the ef- forts of people of African descent to seek redress for their present condition. The declaration of the International Decade (2015 to 2024) in that regard, aims to celebrate the important contributions of people of African descent worldwide, advance social justice and inclusion policies, eradicate racism and intolerance, promote human rights, and assist in creating better, more prosperous communities, in line with the Sustainable Development Goals spearheaded by the United Nations. Francis Ben Kaifala‘s honor by UN/MIPAD, a highly prestigious and credible UN accredited body, is without doubt, approbation yet again for him and Sierra Leone. Without gainsaying, this is another meritorious recognition for not only the ACC Czar but Sierra Leone. The leadership of Francis Ben Kaifala, with the support of his President who was recently recognized by the MCC as the true ―Anti - Corruption Champion‖, has continued to distinguish ACC and Sierra Leone again, again and again, as the list of global recognitions and acclaim continue to pour in. Page 5
6. T he Anti - Corruption Commission (ACC), through the Public Education Unit at its Northeast office in Makeni, has called on members of Mabontor and Maranda communities to strongly act against corruption. The two communities, which are located in Simiria Chiefdom in Tonkolili District, were addressed in two outreach meetings conducted on the 29 th and 30 th October 2021 respectively. In his remarks, ACC Public Education Officer, Abdul Karim Bangura, explained that corruption is the misuse of public office for personal gain. He further described it as the arch enemy that scuttles development efforts in the country. Giving Misappropriation of Public Funds and Property as instances of corruption, Mr. Bangura revealed that there are more than 27 corruption offences recorded in Part IV of the Anti - Corruption Act of 2008 as amended in 2019. Concerning penalties for corruption, the Public Education Officer stat- ed that the ACC, which assumes the lead to combat corruption in the country by a 2000 Parliamentary Act, has stiffer laws to punish the corrupt and a division within the High Court. For instance, a person who is guilty of corruption is liable to pay a minimum fine of Le50,000,000 or serve a minimum prison term of 5 years. Mr. Bangura further disclosed that besides the fine and prison term, the court shall order a corruption convict to fully pay back any misappropriated amount. According to him, the ACC may enter into a Non - Conviction Asset - based Recovery with a suspect to refund the amount misappropriated on a minimum 10% interest, and the person be excluded from office for at least three years. By the former, the Commission has secured over 30 Billion Leones from corrupt officers and institutions in the last three years, funds that have been deposited into the Consolidated Funds. Public Education Officer, Aiah Sourie, in his contribution, referred to the engagements as a corruption prevention drive. He declared that the Commission has redoubled its efforts to impede the occurrence of corruption through awareness - raising sessions in communities as well as in institutions across the country. According to Mr. Sourie, in addition to deploying prevention officers in the regions, the Commission has recently published a Compliance Management and Sanctions Enforcement Procedure Handbook with funds from Open Society Initiative for West Africa. He said the handbook serves as a toolbox to determine compliance level of ministries departments and agencies with ACC System and Processes Review Recommendations. Every member of the community, Mr. Sourie stressed, should adopt integrity, the ability to adhere to doing what is correct or required. To reject and report corruption to the Commission by calling 515 on Orange and Africell networks, he continued, is an admirable show of integrity and a sign of patriotism. He however warned that the people should not concoct reports merely to vilify the image of people they are not in friendly terms with. By and large, the two communities received the anti - graft messages with a pledge to resist and report corruption to the Commission. Regent Chief of the Chiefdom said: ̳We should support the ACC. Those who refuse or fail to report corruption are equally corrupt. Page 6 Public Education Officer Aiah Sourie addressing the people of Mabontor
10. Contd from Pg.9 Page 10 ACC Officers and the Kenema Hospital Management Team after the Engagement T he Eastern Regional office of the Anti - Corruption Commission (ACC) has engaged the management of the Kenema Government Hospital and raised public concerns of alleged corruption issues in the Hospital. The engagement, which is part of the Commission‘s public education and prevention approach in the fight against corruption, took place on the 30th September 2021, at the Government Hospital in Kenema. ACC‘s Senior Public Education Officer Sulaiman B. Sowa said the engagement was not an investigation drive but rather meant to address complaints of corruption in the Hospital and ensure effective health service delivery. Deliberating on allegations reported by the public, Mr. Sowa said they range from the sale of free healthcare drugs to absenteeism by nurses. ―These allegations suggest systemic and integrity issues and they have the tendency to make the Hospital dysfunctional,‖ he said. Mr. Sowa said the Commission decided to bring them to the attention of the hospital management for prompt actions. He referenced the recent mem- orandum of understanding signed by the Commission and the Ministry of Health which is geared towards strengthening col- laboration between the two institutions in order to fight against corruption in healthcare delivery. Dilating on key offences in the Anti - Corruption Act of 2008 as amended in 2019, Quinton David, Investigation Officer, said all the allegations are linked to offences in the Anti - Corruption Act of 2008 as amended in 2019 and they carry lengthy jail terms and heavy fines as well. Mr. David singled out key offences such as soliciting and accepting advantage, conspiracy, unexplained wealth and mis- appropriation of public/donor funds. He emphasized that gifts received as an inducement or rewards amounted to corruption and that absenteeism may amount to corruption as salaries are earned and not rewarded for being absent from work. He therefore entreated all to play by the rules to prevent corruption and ensure better service delivery. Medical Superintendent of the Kenema Government Hospital, Dr. Ibrahim M. Kapuwa said, the engagement did not only bring to their attention issues of corruption allegations raised by the public but also availed them the opportunity to be schooled on the laws relating to the fight against corruption. He said such engagements are indicative of the need to enhance collaboration between the Commission and the Hos- pital in fighting corruption as was recently manifested in the MoU between the two institutions. Dr. Kapuwa said the allegations, as raised by the public, will be taken into consideration when instituting measures geared towards preventing corruption at the Hospital. The Kono District Monitor Patrick Hinga George highlighted some achievements of the Commission under the Francis Ben Kaifala leadership, including the recovery of over Thirty Billion Leones and other physical assets, and the over 95% conviction rate in cases investigated and charged to court. Public Education Officer Sam P. Gogra, said corruption offences by public officers can be reported in writing or in - person to their Masingbi Road Office or by calling the toll - free lines of 515, 077 - 985985/986986. Umaru Koroma, Community Monitor of the Social Safety Net (SSN) project in the chiefdom, used the occasions to sensitize beneficiaries of the two communities on the judicious utilization of the project funds.
2. Page 2 S ierra Leone has made another remarkable increment on the country‘s very high score in the ̳Control of Corruption‘ Indicator in the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Scorecard, moving from 81 percent in 2020 to 83 percent in 2021 , thereby adding a further 2 percentage points upwards. This is the fourth consecutive year Sierra Leone is recording an outstanding score in the MCC ̳Control of Corruption‘ Scorecard, beginning with 71 percent score in 2018, 79 percent in 2019, then 81 percent in 2020, and now 83 percent in 2021, coming from a failure position on the indicator in 2017 with 49 percent then. This year‘s score means the country has made 34 percentage points upwards between 2017 and 2021. The 2021 Scorecard shows that, Sierra Leone scored the highest percentage in the ̳Control of Corruption‘ indicator than many other countries including; Nigeria, which scored Zero percent, Ghana 74 percent, Mali 63 percent, Ivory Coast 42 percent, Liberia 54 percent, Cameroon 42 percent, Guinea 52 percent, Kenya 56 percent, Uganda 46 percent, Zambia 69 percent, etc. Therefore, by this year‘s Report, Sierra Leone is among the top ten performers in our income category; one of the best performers in Africa; and number one in the Mano River Union. It could be recalled that in the 2020 MCC Report, Sierra Leone passed 13 of the 20 indicators, including the mandatory ―Control of Corruption‖ indicator, which made Sierra Leone ―Compact Eligi- ble.‖ The MCC is an initiative of the Government of the United EDITOR - IN - CHIEF Abubakar Turay EDITORS Margaret Murray LAYOUT & GRAPHICS Philippa M Davies EDITORIAL ADVISERS Patrick Sandi Augustine Foday Ngobie Emmanuel Koivaya Amara States of America to provide aid to developing countries to fight widespread poverty through economic growth. The MCC scorecard consists of 20 indicators under three broad categories: ―Economic Freedom,‖ ―Ruling Justly,‖ and ―Investing in People.‖ The ―Control of Corruption‖ Indicator falls under the ―Ruling Justly‖ category. Similarly, Sierra Leone has also scored high in other global, regional, and domestic anti - corruption rankings within the past three years. Sierra Leone has moved 13 places upwards in the Transparency International‘s Corruption Perception Index 2020 and scored its highest score to be positioned at 117, from 130 in 2017. In the Global Corruption Barometer of 2019, Sierra Leone ranked 3 rd out of 35 African Countries surveyed on ―Government‘s Effectiveness in the Fight against Corruption.‖ According to the 2020 Afro Barometer Report, corruption prevalence in Sierra Leone declined from 70 percent in 2015 to 40 percent in 2020. Additionally, a National Perception Survey, conducted by the Public Financial Management Consortium led by the Center for Accountability and Rule of Law, published in 2020, revealed that 92 percent of the respondents were convinced the fight against corruption in Sierra Leone is on the right course. 2021 MCC Scorecard in which Sierra Leone scored 83% in „Control of Corruption‟ Indicator
12. Published by the Anti - Corruption Commission Headquarters: 3, Gloucester Street, Freetown, Sierra Leone, West Africa Website: email@example.com Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Bo Office Address: 10 Bo Pujehun Drive, Kebbie Town 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) P ublic Education Officer of the Anti - Corruption Commission (ACC) in the North - West Region Mohamed Thullah has told school administrators, staff and pupils in San- da Magbonlontor and Mambolo Chiefdoms that schools are not revenue generating agencies and therefore warned against illegal charges and other forms of extortion. He made this statement during a "Meet the School" campaign at the Sanda Magbonlontor and Baptist Scarcies Secondary schools in Sanda Magbonlontor and Mambolo Chiefdoms on the 29th and 30th September, 2021 respectively. Speaking at the respective engagements, Mr. Thullah recognized the role of teachers and their contribution to nation building and accentuated their critical role in building the country's human resource base. He stated that the drop in the standard of education was as a result of the sustained presence of corruption in the sector, adding that ACC has demonstrated firm resolve to bringing sanity to the education sector and reversing the negative trend that has permeated the school system. "Illegal charges, extortion and other forms of bribery and other malfeasance have eaten deep, and the results have been devastating on the crop of students produced," he noted. The Public Education Officer highlighted various corrupt practices that have plagued the sector including but not limited to illegal admission, falsification of report cards, pay- ment for report cards, payment for assignment or test, absen- teeism, sex for grades, payment for extra classes, bribes paid by parents to teachers and public officials to get grades and pass exams, diversion of school fees subsi- dies and other supplies, double dipping etc. He said that examinations malpractice and the misuse of school fees subsidies are issues of great concern to the ACC and emphasized that such practices are punishable offences in the Anti - Corruption Act 2008 as amended in 2019 and can attract a minimum fine of up to fifty million Leones or five years jail term. He cautioned school administrators and teachers to desist from corrupt practices and always conform to the dictates of the education policy. He encouraged both staff and pupils to resist, reject and report any attempt or suspicion of corruption and to imbibe the virtues and values of integri- ty in whatever they do. During brief meetings with the teachers of the respective schools, the Regional Manager Al - Hassan Sesay provided a concise explanation on related corruption offences and underscored the role of school administrators to combat bribery in schools. He informed them that as public officers, they must be mindful of the ACC laws and conform to the guidelines of the education policy and the Teachers‘ code of conduct. He emphasized issues relating to attendance, absenteeism, double dipping, time theft and misappropriation of school fees subsidies. In their various responses, the teachers of both schools commended and thanked the ACC for the sensitization drive, pledged their support towards the fight against corruption and promised to desist from levying illegal charges forthwith. ACC‟s North - West Region Manager Al - Hassan Sesay admonishing the teachers to keep corrupt practices off the schools
9. Page 9 L ike any newly elected secondary form one prefect who has won the vote to be the class leader right through junior high, President Bio stood with pride on the balcony of the national stadium as he addressed citizens on his vision for Sierra Leone. The President spoke about the ̳New Direction‘ for Sierra Leone to win three winnable wars: war on poverty, indiscipline, and corruption. The new academic year begins. The first term enters. The prefect appoints a team from among the cohort to help accomplish his class mandate. President Bio selected a plethora of professionals for public service positions. In his wise judgement, he entrusted the leadership of the Anti - Corruption Commission to a 33 - year - old lawyer and human rights activist. Some structures help assess individual students' performances in school settings, their various classes, cohorts, and campus clubs. These structures play a crucial part in giving awards on Prize Giving Day. Taking the Sierra Leone situation, one of such structures is the Millennium Challenge Corporation. This United States - based institution was established in 2004. This agency was created through broad bipartisan support from Democrats and Republicans. The agency is to be innovative and independent, combine development expertise and rigorous analysis and focus primarily on poverty reduction through economic growth — the Millenni- By: Paul Abu Conteh - PR Consultant um Challenge Corporation partners with developing coun- tries committed to good governance. The Millennium Challenge Corporation scorecard has twenty (20) indicators under three (3) broad categories: Economic Freedom, Ruling Justly and Investing in People. Third - party independent sources affirm the country selection process – United Nations, the Bretton Woods system, bi - lateral agen- cies, non - governmental organizations, academic institutions, and globally recognized think tanks. The junior high ends. The final term exits. Here comes Prize Giving Day. The school authorities award achievers in numerous categories. The class cohort from three years ago has had its shortcomings, but it must be commended for the leadership it had shown in the fight against corruption. That is why awards keep coming in this area of the governance sphere. The recent 2021 Millennium Challenge Corporation scorecard confirms this statement. The scorecard indicates that Sierra Leone made another annual progress in the ̳Control of Corruption‘ thematic area. The country moved from 81% in 2020 to 83% in 2021. The results placed Sierra Leone as the best performer in the Mano River Union; ranked a top - ten performer among nations with similar income levels and outperformed several countries in the sub - region, including Nigeria and Ghana. Residents of Koryadu and Yorgborma Communities in the Tankoro Chiefdom, Kono District, have expressed thanks and appreciation to the Anti - Corruption Community engagement at Yorgborma Commission (ACC) for the engagement the Commission‘s regional office in the district held with them to raise awareness about issues of corruption. The meetings in the two communities took place on the 6 th and 7 th October 2021 respectively. Section Chief of Yorgborma Sahr T. James, on behalf of his people, praised the Public Education team of the ACC office in Kono, adding ―We have been hearing about the ACC on the radio but never had the opportunity to meet face - to - face with the Commission to talk about corruption and its dangers‖. Explaining the purpose of the meeting, the Regional Manager, Hawanatu O. Kamara, after applauding members of the two communities for their turn out, said that such meetings are organized for the community people to know the dangers and effects of corruption and how they can join the ACC in fighting the menace. Contd on Pg.10
3. A five - man delegation from the Gambia has concluded a week - long study tour of the Sierra Leone Anti - Corruption Commission‘s (ACC) legal framework, strategies and operations as part of preparations to set up an anti - corruption agency in the Gambia. The delegation is made up of the Solicitor General of the Ministry of Justice Hussein Thomasi, State Counsel in the Ministry, Saffiatu Nyang, Officer Commanding of Prosecution of the Gambia Police Force Abdou Mannoh, Officer Commanding Special Investigations Unit and Interpol of the Force Pa - Alieu Ja- wara and Programme Assistant Gambia Participate, a leading civil society group, Fanta Sanneh. Speaking at the conference hall of the ACC‘s Gloucester Street office in Freetown on Monday 15 th November 2021, the Deputy Commissioner of ACC, Augustine Foday Ngobie, who chaired the meeting, welcomed the delegation and acknowledged their valiant and fitting move to choose, closely follow and select Sierra Leone as a case study for their dream to have an anti - graft institution. He said that the ACC‘s journey in the fight against corruption can be attributed to several factors and actors that are resonating positively with the fight against corruption. Mr. Ngobie said that top among these factors and actors are; the strong and determined Presidential commitment displayed by the President of the Republic of Sierra Leone Brigadier (Rtd.) Dr. Julius Maada Wonnie Bio, the sturdy legal and regulatory framework in the current Anti - Corruption Act 2008, as amended in 2019 which is one of the strongest in the continent, the National Anti - Corruption Strategy which is the country‘s roadmap in the fight against corruption and the committed leadership and staff at the ACC. He said that, the ACC had also received support from partners and stakeholder institutions like the Judiciary, which has established a Special Anti - Corruption Division within the High Court of Sierra Leone with dedicated Judges to exclusively try corruption cases; the civil society and media; the Audit Service Sierra Leone; the National Public Procurement Authority and the robustness of the ACC in addressing and re- sponding to all corruption allegations with precision, including its prevention work in public offices. Mr. Ngobie also said the Commission has also been able to roll out an effective public education and communication campaign that has increased and sustained citizens‘ awareness and ability to resist, reject and report suspected instances of corruption. The Deputy Commissioner assured the visiting team of a fruitful stay, assuring to make available to them all information, data, facts and experiences to make their study tour resourceful and meaningful. He said that the bilateral and cordial relationship between the Gambia and Sierra Leone dates as far back as to the colonial and post - colonial era, and has been mutually beneficial. ―I believe such cordiality and mutual relationship should continue in the interest of both countries,‖ he concluded. The Solicitor General of the Gambia, who is also the Head of Delegation Hussein Thomasi, stated that Sierra Leone is a stunning trailblazer in the crusade against corruption. . He said his country was far gone into the process of enacting its Anti - Corruption Bill which will culminate into the establishment of the Anti - Corruption Commission in the Gambia. Mr. Thomasi stated that during the tour, the delegation with support from ACC, will undertake meaningful engagements with the Operational Departments of the ACC, the Lord Chief Justice, the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Audit Service Sierra Leone, the Sierra Leone Police, Centre for Accountability and Rule of Law (CARL), Transparency International Sierra Leone Chapter, the media etc. He said these engagements will provide the delegation a comprehensive picture of Sierra Leone‘s anti - corruption journey, in order to incorporate the lessons learnt into their legal, regulatory and administrative framework. Page 3 Members of the Gambian Delegation and a cross - section of ACC Management Team
7. By Aiah P.M. Sourie, Public Education Office, ACC Northeast Office, Makeni Page 7 A lthough the saying ̳Prevention is better than Cure‘ seems redundant, its import and application has gained freshness especially with recent outbreaks of emergencies such as pandemics and earthquakes as well as the continuous war against corruption across the globe. The European Union‘s first Chief Prosecutor, Laura Kovesi, for instance, also gave credence to the old phrase when she said on Talk to Aljazeera , in October 2021, that ̳ it is not important just to put corrupt persons behind bars, but it is also important to prevent corruption‘ – with an accent on the latter. Sierra Leone‘s Anti - Corruption Commission (ACC) which was established by an Act of Parliament in 2000, has not lagged behind in adopting the refreshed cliché in its tenacious efforts to combat corruption in the country. The Commission strengthens its Prevention Department to examine the systems and processes of Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs), with the object to identify and block corruption loopholes by formulating and recommending policies. This is authorized in Section 7(2) of the Anti - Corruption Act of 2008 as amended in 2019. But how does the Commission implement this prevention tool? As the need arises for a public sector body to be examined by way of systems and processes review, its leadership or man- agement team is invited to what the ACC‘s Prevention Depart- ment calls an Inception Meeting. During this meeting, they are clearly and adequately informed about the mandate of the Commission and the rationale of the proposed review. While officers of the Prevention Department have an opportunity to elicit information on thematic areas, the meeting, during which a focal person is appointed from among the staff, affords ample time to all parties to prepare for the commencement of the review proper on a mu- tually suitable day. Subsequent to this preliminary step is the more painstaking exercise of collecting sufficient relevant data on areas consistent with the theme of the review. It is important to stress that at this stage, the full co - operation of the public body under review is anticipated to ensure that the Prevention Officers can access required documents for the purpose of the review exercise. Desk review of the data gathered is, in effect, conducted with focus on pinpointing policy gaps, inter alia, conducive to the occurrence of corruption and corrupt practices within the given institution. Next, a comprehensive review report informed by the analyses of the data previously collected is draft- ed and forwarded to the institution. The aim here is to capture and factor feedback from the institution into the draft report, thereby eliminating any subjective pieces of information that will potentially affect acceptability and implementation of the review process. More importantly, considering responses from the body as crucial to the review report and the review itself is indicative of the ACC‘s open policy on close partnership to prevent and fight corruption within both the public and private sectors. The clarion call for well - coordinated collaboration in prosecuting corruption is more clearly set out in the ACC‘s fourth National Anti - Corruption Strategy (NACS) 2019 - 2023, a document that symbolizes an increasing strong public clamour and action for accountability and transparency from public officials and private sector actors. Complete with recommendations and a compliance assessment plan, the review report is presented to the Commissioner of the ACC and the institution reviewed for their approbation. However, the institution can and should inform the Commissioner in writing, within seven days, as given in Section 8 (2) of the Act aforementioned, if it finds any of the review recommendations impracticable to carrying out its normal duties. The ACC‘s Systems and Processes Review is a participatory and straightforward matrix to avert perversion in Sierra Leone‘s Public and Private Sectors to foster efficient and effective service delivery to the citizenry. This strategy of the Commission thus lends credibility to the wisdom in preventing corruption.
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