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ACC sensitizes staff of the provincial administration in the southern region

ACC sensitizes staff of the provincial administration in the southern region

The Southern Regional Office of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has on Thursday 23rd February, 2012 held a fruitful meeting with senior and junior staff of various ministries, departments and agencies including drivers and cleaners of the Provincial Administration in the region. The thrust of the meeting was to engage staff of the provincial Administration to update them about the work of the commission and ways to curb corrupt practices in their institution.

Speaking at a sensitization meeting with over 50 staff members in the region at the Tikonko Road Provincial Secretary’s office in Bo, ACC District Coordinator for Bo District Mr. Anthony Samu intimated his audience that the meeting was one of a series of sensitization meetings normally conducted by the Commission for Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs). Mr. Samu also allayed the fears of the staff present that the ACC has not received any complain for now on corruption related activity targeting any Ministry in the building .He expressed concern that the Commission should not be seen as an enemy and does not engage in witch-hunting but should be embraced by all and sundry as a dependable institution which partners with MDAs in the fight against corruption. He informed participants that the meeting will also give opportunity to all the public Officers present to air their views and ask questions on issues they are not clear about in the work of the Commission.

Welcoming the ACC team, the Deputy Secretary,Mr George A.Penyikie who deputized the Provincial Secretary as chairman of the program  expressed his appreciation for ACC coming closer to them. Mr. Penyikie intimated all present that the ACC is well known in the country and not a stranger. He re-emphasized that the commission is there to address the ills of society in that there will be no development if the issue of corruption is not addressed. Mr. Penyikie commended the ACC for doing very well in handling corruption issues. Concluding, he said that the coming of the ACC for such an important meeting is an opportunity for them as staff within the building to share the knowledge gained and put it in good use.

Giving an overview of the Commission, update and activities, and the need for strategic partnership with the Provincial Secretary’s office, the ACC Regional Manager – South, Mr. Mohamed Dumbuya, on behalf of the Commissioner expressed his delight in addressing the noble staff of the Provincial District Office on issues about his institution. He informed participants that the PS Office was the first institution he was introduced when he assumed office in the Southern Region. Mr. Dumbuya stated that in the past corruption was institutionalized in the country but with the inception of the ACC, many strides have been made in the fight against corruption. He mentioned the indictment and prosecution of high profile personalities in the country including cabinet ministers. Manager Dumbuya welcomed the decentralization process in the country and emphasized that as a commission they have also decentralized their operations so as to fight corruption at the local level.

 He hastened to say that the observance of the procurement law and regulations is very important as most corruption related cases are linked to procurement. He encouraged his audience to report all corruption related matters, but cautioned them that those reports must not be malicious.

Mr. Dumbuya explained the three-pronged approach used by the Commission in the fight against corruption (public education, prevention and enforcement). He said that the ACC Act 2008 has given more powers to the Commission, and that the Commission has the mandate to investigate all forms of corruption, no matter the amount of money or individuals involved. He disclosed that the punishment for any offence in the ACC Act 2008 is a fine of not less than Thirty (30) Million Leones or imprisonment for not less than three (3) years or both fine and prison term.

Mr. Dumbuya highlighted the successes of the Commission over the years which include; the recruitment of District Coordinators in all districts in the country, systems review done in various MDAs including the production of Service Delivery Charter for SLRTA & Immigration to mention but a few.  He also spoke about the production of the National Anti-Corruption Strategy (NACS) document which he said is the road map in guiding the process of fighting corruption. He emphasized that the Commission is not just there to arrest and convict corrupt individuals but also to sensitizing the public on the dangers of corruption and soliciting support from every individual in the fight against graft. With such trend he implored every public officer to be watchdogs for corruption offenders and to report all corruption related activities and practices to the ACC. He concluded by thanking all participants present and encouraged them to spread the message to other Sierra Leoneans.

Further contributions were made by the Resident Minister South,Mr Mojue Kai Kai who made important clarifications on most of the issues and comments raised by the officers present in the meeting. The District Coordinator also highlighted some of the offences in the 2008 Act and Manager Dumbuya stressed the need for strategic partnership with PS office in the fight against corruption.

Questions and answers formed part of the programme while the vote of thanks was given by Madam Hawa S. Sowa, Secretary in the Provincial Secretary’s office, South.

Anthony B. Samu, District Coordinator – Bo District

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