The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has bade farewell to the Steering Committee members of the Fourth Generation of the National Anti-Corruption Strategy (NACS) 2019-2023 at the Commission’s Conference Room, Integrity House, Tower Hill, Freetown.
The National Anti-Corruption Strategy is a framework for fighting corruption in Sierra Leone, with the main aim of mainstreaming anti-corruption measures in Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of Government in order to build strong institutions.
It stems from the provisions of the United Nation Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) to which Sierra Leone is a signatory. The UNCAC mandates Member States to develop a national strategy to combat corruption. The current strategy (2019-2023) which is the 4th Generation ends in December this year.
The Steering Committee, which sits in the Office of the Vice President, was chaired by the Minister of State, Vice President’s Office, Francess Alghali (who is currently the Deputy Minister Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation), and they served as the guarantors of the strategy.
They were responsible for compelling MDAs and Local Councils who fall short of their responsibilities in the implementation of the strategy to act according to the dictates of the strategy. Their composition was drawn from diverse sections of society including; the media, civil society organizations, the public and private sectors and senior citizens.
Deputy Commissioner of the ACC, Augustine Foday Ngobie, in his statement, commended the outgoing Steering Committee Members for their unflagging support in the implementation of the strategy.
Mr. Ngobie stressed on the idea of having people who are not staff of the Commission to get involved in the implementation of the strategy to ensure that anti-corruption measures are mainstreamed in the public sector.
He called on his listeners to put all hands on deck in helping the Commission in the fight against corruption. Mr. Ngobie further expressed gratitude for the tremendous work done by the outgoing members and encouraged them to always support the Commission whenever called upon.
“One assurance you have given me is your willingness to continue contributing towards the fight against corruption in not only implementing the strategy but in every aspect of the fight,” he noted.
Giving updates on the NACS 2019-2023, the Director of the NACS Secretariat, Nabilahi-Musa Kamara, acknowledged the tremendous efforts and commitment shown by the committee during the lifespan of the strategy. He said the NACS “is a mandate we got as a result of us being a State-Party to the UNCAC, and also by virtue of Section 5 (1)(c) of the Anti-Corruption Act 2008 as Amended in 2019,” adding that from a national and international perspective, Sierra Leone is obligated to craft a national anti-corruption strategy every five years.
As the current strategy comes to an end in December, Mr. Kamara furthered that they have established Integrity Management Committees (IMCs) in almost 95 percent of MDAs, which has precipitated the giant push in the Afro-Barometer Report. “We have mainstreamed anti-corruption issues and have functional IMCs in the public sector,” adding that, all the 22 Local Councils across the country, and 53 MDAs were covered, Mr. Kamara said.
The NACS Director also stated that the strategy contained 832 action points for implementation by both the Local Councils and MDAs. He said, out of this number, the Local Councils had 245 action points and implemented 242, which gives a 99% compliance rate, while MDAs had 587 action points and implemented 529, indicating a 90% compliance rate.
The farewell ceremony was climaxed by the issuance of meritorious certificates to all the Steering Committee Members namely; Francess Alghali, Lavina Banduah, Joshua Nicol, Ahmed Sahid Nasrallah, Emile Carr, Jonathan Kpakiwa, Abu Bockarie Conteh, and Winston Mella Jalloh.