Bank of Sierra Leone embraces the fight against corruption
Senior management team of the Bank of Sierra Leone have benefited from a training course on anti-money laundering, liability for corrupt act, ethics, integrity, and corporate governance held at the Bank of Sierra Leone auditorium and facilitated by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) to capacitate staff to increase their contributions in the fight against corruption. Bank of Sierra Leone is a key partner, a member of the Network against Fraud, and continues to assist in investigations on matters bordering on financial crimes, bribery, misappropriation, and fraud involving commercial banks, private individuals and private financial institutions. (Photo” Participants at the seminar)
Deputy Commissioner Anti-Corruption Commission Shollay Davies in opening the seminar on Tuesday 29th September 2015 noted the fight against corruption is a national struggle and therefore institutions should make conscious effort to mainstream initiatives aimed at strengthening management procedures and capacitating staff for curbing the menace and for uplifting the economy. Mr. Davies said the fight against corruption concerns everyone and that the Commission is pleased to engage, upon request of the Bank, with senior management staff.
Deputy Bank Governor Dr. Ibrahim Stevens said they are obligated by law to report incidence of corruption they come across in their work to relevant authorities such as the Anti-Corruption Commission. They will do so more effectively when senior management officers are fully aware of reporting mechanisms, integrity issues, asset declaration, and offences in the Anti-Corruption Act 2008, and money laundering scheming. ‘We will continue to collaborate and share information with partners in the fight against graft for the public good’, Deputy Bank Governor Dr Ibrahim Stevens emphasized.
Management is continuously engaged with the overall provision of direction for the bank, supervises the middle cadre, and implementing relevant laws in the regulation of commercial banks and other financial entities. Their understanding and adherence to anti-corruption laws is critical to maintaining sanity in the banking sector and broadly in the economy.
Making her presentation on ethics, integrity, and corporate governance, Koloneh Sankoh Director Public Education and Outreach Department ACC, underscored corruption exists because of the individual – and can be eradicated when the individual takes ownership of the fight and demonstrates commitment for its eradication. She said employees in the banks must always enforce the rules and compel compliance, while customers follow laid down procedures and fall on complaint mechanism when they are aggrieved. By so doing, both parties will be contributing positively in the fight against graft.
On money laundering and the fight against corruption, Franklyn Campbell, Head of Monitoring and Analysis at the Financial Intelligence Unit, said the desire to choose cooperation over conflict has demonstrated the resolve among anti graft agencies to work towards a common path of transforming the Sierra Leone economy and maintaining a peaceful climate convenient for foreign direct investment. He said money laundering is an offence by law and that the Financial Intelligence Unit, ACC and Bank of Sierra Leone are cracking down on perpetrators, destroying networks, and prosecuting offenders. Success in this drive has been due to a close collaboration and sharing of intelligence.
Presentations on fraud, integrity, and asset disclosure was made by the Deputy Director, Intelligence, Investigations and Prosecutions Department Evelyn Kuyateh and Liability for a corrupt act by Emile C. Carr, Chairman of Transparency International, Sierra Leone Chapter.
The training for senior management staff it is noted to have increased their awareness of corruption and its various forms, exposed them to offences in the Anti-Corruption Act of 2008, and rekindled their interest in reporting corruption and rejecting bribery.
By Alimamy Lahai Kamara
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