2024

ANTI-CORRUPTION COMMISSION OF SIERRA LEONE

An independent institution established for the prevention, investigation, prosecution and punishment of corruption, corrupt practices and to provide for other related matters. 

Contact us on: +23278832131 or info@anticorruption.gov.sl
Address:  Integrity House, Tower Hill, Freetown Sierra Leone, West Africa.

WEEKLY NEWSLETTER Issue 1 Volume 13 6th - 10 November 2023

Public Education / Newsletters

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2. Page 2 T he Anti - Corruption Commission (ACC) has in an engagement held on Friday 3rd November, 2023, at the Conference Hall of the Commission's Integrity House, Tower Hill, Freetown, cautioned Principals of various Senior Secondary Schools against illicit charges and extortion during the admission process of pupils, following the release of the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) Results. Addressing the Principals, the Deputy Commissioner, ACC, Au- gustine Foday Ngobie informed them that the Commission has a broad mandate to lead the fight against corruption and ensure that the country is corrupt free. This he said, the ACC does in partnership, and one of such was with the Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education (MBSSE). The Deputy Commissioner drew their attention to the provisions in Section 128 subsection 3 of the Anti - Corruption Act 2008 as amended in 2019 that criminalizes all forms of academic fraud. He al- so dilated on the corresponding penalties as provided for in the subsection which he said includes upon conviction, a fine of not less than 50 Million (Old) Leones or minimum five years imprisonment or both. "We have decided to call this meeting as a preventive approach. Prevention is one of the approaches we use through public education and other such means. If it fails, we use enforcement", the Deputy Commissioner averred. Mr. Ngobie encouraged the Principals to comply with the approved charges provided by the Government of Sierra Leone through the MBSSE and strongly cautioned them not to demand or accept any form of bribe in the conduct of admissions or their work generally. The Permanent Secretary MBSSE, Brima S.T. Kebbie expressed concern over the challenges of his Ministry and the Educational Sector, and the desire to address them, more so with the support of the ACC. He stated that refusal to support and promote the free quality education would amount to a violation of someone's fundamental Human Rights and such violation occurs by our actions and inactions especially when set standards are compromised. He added that the Ministry struggles with bloated school rolls, which is having a serious financial toll on the Government. He furthered that the Ministry conducted a school census and the total number of pupils in all schools is almost the same with the amount of entries received for only West African Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (WASSCE) candidates. Mr. Kebbie added that he recently had some staff to do on the spot check and head count of some schools in the Western Rural on the School Feeding Scheme, disclosing that, the data for a school was over 700 and they met slightly above 400 students. "Is it possible to have over 200 Pupils absent from School in the middle of the week"? The PS asked rhetorically, highlighting it as some of the key challenges of the Ministry. Deputy Commissioner, ACC, Augustine Foday Ngobie, addressing the principals The Chairman, Teaching Service Commission, Lawa Keifala in his data driven analysis on public examinations disclosed that in the past five years there has been an astronomical increase in candidates who sat to the WASSCE Examinations, from a 29000 and 33000 total number of examination candidates in 2017 and 2018 respectively. He said there was an exponential rise in 2019 to 115,000 with the introduction of the Free Quality Education and kept on rising with a huge jump in 2022 and 2023 to 243,000. A significant portion of these he said are not eligible and should not be taking the examination and this huge loss of Government sadly goes in- to the pockets of the School Heads. He added that Kenema in 2022, just a district presented 33,000 candidates whilst the whole of Southern Province submitted far less. He further stated that in 2017, there were 186 Senior Second- ary Schools and now there are 888 Schools in just five years. "In 2017 there were 96 examination centers nationwide and in 2023 there were 444 Centers and some of these were dwelling houses", the Chairman further averred. He also expressed his delight for the intervention of the Commission to help navigate and address these issues. By: Alex A. Bah, Public Relations Assistant, ACC Permanent Secretary MBSSE, Brima S. T. Kebbie, making his statement Chairman, Teaching Service Commission, Lawa Keifala, giving his data - driven analysis CONTD PG.4

4. Principals of various Secondary Schools at the Engagement By: Alex A. Bah, Public Relations Assistant, ACC Civil Society Representative, Alphonso Manley in his statement referenced the Educational Sector Plan which has as one of its objectives, Eliminating Corruption in Education. He further stated that achieving this requires a thorough cleansing of the MBSSE itself as the body with Supervisory role over Schools. Mr. Manley maintained that these bloated figures are inputted by the Ministry without due diligence done. He also lamented that there is a whole network of corruption, making the Government record huge loss of monies that should have been directed to provide improved conditions of service to teachers and or building conducive classrooms. The Director of Prevention ACC, Rashid Turay who chaired the meeting thanked the Principals for attending and urged them to fully comply so as to prevent them coming into conflict with the law, as the Commission was poised to enforce the issues discussed fairly but fiercely. CONTD FROM PG.2 The representative from NPPA - SL, Alieu Moigboi, Director of Training elucidated on the procurement regime in Sierra Leone emphasizing the collaboration with the ACC. He spoke on the independence of the Authority and some of the challenges faced. Justice Ganawah, Senior Economist, Institute for Governance Reform (IGR) a civil society voice, suggested for ACC and NPPA to use data analytics which will help in their interventions in MDAs in relation CONTD FROM PG.3 to public procurement activities. The Advocacy Meeting is organized by Social Watch, Benin, in collabo ration with Ghana Anti - Corruption Coalition (GACC) and SEND SL with support from Open Society Foundation for Africa also known as OSIWA. It could be recalled that quite recently, September, 2023 the Executive Secretary of the GACC Beauty Nartey paid a visit to Sierra Leone's ACC to learn about its great work. The Advocacy Meeting also provided a learning op- portunity where persons from Benin, Sierra Leone and Ghana were able to learn significantly about the fight against corruption and the enormous ac hieve- ments recorded Public Relations Officer, ACC, Sylvanus Blake making his address. Cross section of students listening to the ACC message The Anti - Corruption Commission (ACC) has on Tuesday 31 st October, 2023, admonished over 500 freshmen of the Limkokwing University of Creative Technology, at the Institution’s 2023/2024 ac- ademic year Orientation Ceremony, held at its Campu s, Hill Station, Freetown. In his thrilling address, the Public Relations Officer, ACC, Sylvanus Blake spoke on the importance of imbibing the values and tenets o f integrity and to eschew all corrupt practices more so at this formative stage. He stated that it is as a result of endemic corruption that the then Truth and Reconciliation Report recommended the establishment of the ACC. Mr. Blake enlightened his listeners on the era of the Commission together with the legal instruments for its establishment and operations. He said that the earlier 2008 Act that repealed and replaced the initial 2000 Act, was one of the strongest anti - corruption laws in the continent. He further said that, the 2019 amendment notably served to strengthen it. He dilated on the approaches employed by the Commission noting that, prevention through Public Education and Systems Review of Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), and enforcement - involving Investigation and Prosecution, are what primarily defines the work of the Commission. The PRO spoke about the various corruption offences under Part IV of the 2008 Anti - Corruption Act as amended in 2019, that includes offering, soliciting or accepting advantage, influencing a public officer, corrupting a public officer, bribery of or by public officer to influence decision of public body, Soliciting, accepting or obtaining advantage for public officers, abuse of office, abuse of position, public officer using his office for advantage, receiving gift for a corrupt purpose, Academic Malpractice among others. He furthered that these are serious offences that attract stiffer penalties upon conviction which include a fine of not less than 50 Million (Old) Leones or a Jail Term of not less than five years. ”The reason I am doing this is to help us all understand what are the offences, how they can apply and most importantly recruit you all on the side of the ACC and Sierra Leone. Ignorance of the law is no excuse”, the Public Relations Officer underscored whilst encouraging them to make do with the anti - corruption messages and inculcate the values of integrity, transparency, probity and accountability.

3. Page 3 T he Director of Public Education and Ex- ternal Outreach Department, Anti - Corruption Commission, Sierra Leone, (ACC - SL) Patrick Sandi on Wednesday 8th November, 2023, in an Advocacy Meeting held in Grand Popo, Benin, articulated the positive strides Sierra Leone has made in the fight against corruption, particularly in regard public procurement in the Health and Education Ministries. The PowerPoint presentation which was made in the Conference Hall of the Ganna Hotel centered on the Strategies, Innovations and Best Practices employed by the Commission to combat corruption in procurement related issues in the sectors of Health and Education. In his submission, Mr. Sandi outlined the Mandate, Vision, Mission and functions of the ACC. He further explained the interventions of the ACC in the two sectors as it would relate to Annual, Real Time and Performance Audit Reports by Audit Service Sierra Leone that appertain procurement related breaches. Director also highlighted the recoveries made by the Commission as a result of these audit interventions, noting the complimentary support the ACC gets from ASSL stating the MoU signed. Director Sandi also explained the partnership and collaboration with the National Public Procurement Authority (NPPA), as there is an existing MoU and Section 78(1g) which makes provision for referrals and also the Amendment which now gives ACC the authority to cancel contracts that are not in the public interest and are corrupt in nature, on the approval of the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the NPPA. Mr. Sandi also spoke about the positive impact of the National Anti - Corruption Strategy 2019 - 2023 implementation, which ensured the functionality of the Integrity Management Committees (IMCs) in Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) including, Health and Education, emphasizing that the crafting of the 5th Generation of the National Anti - Corruption Strategy (2024 - 2028) is underway by a Team of Experts who are currently engaged in nationwide consultations with persons/stakeholders of all walks of life. Remarkably too, the Director Sandi underscored the Recoveries made by the ACC stating the 14 laptop computers, hard - end gadgets and the over Two Hundred Million Leones cash from officials of the National COVID 19 Emergency Response Center NaCOVERC. In continuation, the ACC Director enumerated the gains the Commission has made, including the "Raids" by the Elite Scorpion Squad, on the sale of fake vaccination cards, examination malpractices in Public Examinations, and the Sierra Leone - Liberia border intervention that involved two tourists who illegally paid for fake yellow fever vaccination cards. He furthered that the ACC continues to make significant improvements and scores on the Global, Regional and Local Corruption Perception Indexes, including the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) scorecard which Sierra Leone has (2023) again excellently passed in the 'Control of Corruption Indicator' with a score of 76%. He also dilated on the overall Recoveries made by the Commission which exceeds 45 Billion (Old) Le- ones, appropriately USD$2.1 Million United States Dollars. Mr. Sandi equally emphasized the need to increase public awareness activities so that the public is informed about the pub- lic procurement activities of the two sectors to enable the citizenry question and report acts of breaches and anomalies to the ACC or other relevant authority. Speaking on the innova- tions needed to curb cor- ruption in procurement re- lated issues in Health and Education, Mr. Sandi men- tioned that E - procurement and the use of Technology by MDAs to advance ser- vice delivery will be the game changer once the practice is effectively and dispassionately inculcated by public officials. Ending his presentation, Mr. Sandi observed the relevance of these two sectors in Sierra Leone, particularly in the area of public procurement as they attract so much Resources from Government and Donors, adding that, Edu- cation is a major flagship of the Government and Health is also prioritized as the country has a Free Health Care scheme. Director, Public Education and External Outreach, Patrick San- di making his presentation. Cross Section of the distinguished participants raptly listening to the Director. Director, Public Education and External Outreach, ACC, Patrick San- di, Beauty Emefa Narteh, Executive Secretary, Ghana Anti - Corruption Co- alition (both in the middle) flanked by other Esteemed Personalities CONTD PG.4

1. 6th - 10th November 2023 Issue 1 Volume 13 INTEGRITY HOUSE, TOWER HILL FREETOWN, SIERRA LEONE EDITORIAL TEAM EDITOR - IN - CHIEF Abubakarr Turay EDITORS Sylvanus Blake Alex A. Bah LAYOUT & GRAPHICS Philippa M Davies EDITORIAL ADVISERS Augustine Foday Ngobie Patrick Sandi T he Anti - Corruption Commission (ACC) wishes to inform the general public that Sierra Leone has, again in 2023, scored very high (76 percent) in the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) ‘Control of Corruption’ Indicator, making it six (6) consecutive years of sustained and significant progress in the country’s score in the MCC Scorecard since 2018. Sierra Leone continues to record remarkable scores in the MCC ‘Control of Corruption’ Scorecard, with over 70 percent in six (6) years; 71 percent score in 2018, 79 percent in 2019, 81 percent in 2020, 83 percent in 2021, 79 percent in 2022 and now 76 percent, having previously failed the indicator in 2017 with 49 percent. The current score represents a consecutive 6 years of continuous passes and improvements; which is a clear indication of the Country’s resolve and deliberate efforts to control corruption since 2018. Sierra Leone’s score in the ‘Control of Corruption’ Indicator in 2023 positions her ahead of many other countries including, Nigeria, which scored 50 percent; Ghana 75 percent; Mali 61 percent; Togo 67 percent; Ivory Coast 59 percent; Guinea 57 percent; Liberia 59 percent; Cameroon 48 percent; Kenya 25 percent; Mozambique 63 percent; Egypt 34 percent; Mauritania 19 percent; Morocco 56 percent, etc. As a result, by this year’s Report, Sierra Leone continues to be among the top ten performers in our income category; one of the best performers in Africa; and number one in the Mano River Union. In the just - released 2024 MCC Report, Sierra Leone passed 10 of the 20 indi- cators, including the mandatory ‘Control of ACC Commissioner Francis Ben Kaifala Esq. Deputy Commissioner of ACC Augustine Foday Ngobie Corruption’ Indicator. The MCC scorecard consists of 20 indicators under three broad cat- egories: “Economic Freedom,” “Ruling Justly,” and “Investing in People”. The ‘Control of Corruption’ Indicator falls under “Ruling Just- ly” category. According to the MCC: “Of the 80 country scorecards created by MCC, 25 countries passed [including Sierra Leone], and 55 countries did not.” Similarly, in the last five years, Sierra Leone has also consistently performed high in other global, regional, and domestic anti - corruption rankings. Sierra Leone has moved 20 places upwards in the Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index 2022 and scored its highest of 34, above the Sub - Saharan average to be positioned at 110, from 130 in 2017. The 2022 Afro Barometer Report, indicated huge reduction in corruption prevalence levels in key institutions with trust level in the ACC increased from a 43% in 2020 to a 52% in 2022. Key also is, a National Perception Survey, conducted by the Public Financial Management Consortium, led by the Center for Accountability and Rule of Law, published in 2020 (the latest), revealed that 92 percent of the respondents showed confidence in the Commission’s work . MCC Scorecard, showing Scores of some of the Indicators, including ‘Control of Corruption

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