ACC Calls On NASSIT and NRA To Uphold Their Statutory Mandates
As the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) continues to provide updates to the public on actions it has taken on the Audit Reports 2015-2018; the Commission’s Southern Region Office, on the 29th September 2020, engaged the Regional Managers of the National Social Security and Insurance Trust (NASSIT) and the National Revenue Authority (NRA) in Bo, on the aspects related to their respective institutions. The engagement took place at the conference room of the ACC’s Southern Region office in Bo. (Photo: ACC Regional Manager, South, Musa J.B Jawara, highlighting findings of the ACC investigations into the Audit Reports of 2015-2018 to NASSIT and NRA Regional Managers in Bo)
ACC’s Regional Manager, South, Musa B. Jawara, said that, the findings in the audit reports were revealing and called for prompt actions to prevent unwarranted loss of revenue to the State. He said the findings also indicate the lack of proper accountable systems in public institutions, thereby permitting loss of the much needed funds to facilitate development, noting that most public institutions are not owing up to their statutory mandates.
Mr. Jawara said the findings show that both NASSIT and NRA had issues that either required an investigation or a recovery.
In the area of NASSIT, he referenced the Technical Audit Report, especially issues relating to alleged poor debt management, invalid pensioners, among others. He said the ACC investigations established that the alleged ghost beneficiaries mentioned in the report are genuine contributors and beneficiaries of the NASSIT Scheme.
For the NRA, Mr. Jawara made reference to the non-payment of statutory deductions which had caused loss of billions of Leones of revenue; noting that such findings are worrisome.
He called on the two institutions to continue to strengthen their systems and processes and to uphold their statutory mandates.
Speaking on prosecutions and recoveries, ACC’s Resident Prosecutor, Abubakarr Sannoh, said that the Anti-Corruption Act of 2008 as Amended in 2019 makes expressed provisions for both recovery and prosecution, where necessary.
He referenced Section 7 of the Act as the cardinal section that gives the Commission the powers and responsibility to do everything necessary to prevent corruption. Mr. Sannoh said, the amendment of the Act was meant to bolster the fight against corruption, emphasizing that both NRA and NASSIT have statutory responsibilities to protect public resources for the benefit of all.
He concluded by saying that a crime can be committed by either omission or commission and therefore called on the Regional Managers of NASSIT and NRA to own up to their statutory mandates.
Responding, Regional Manager of NASSIT, Bo, John Lamina, said the findings were eye-openers and pointers to the fact that they should regularize their systems and processes to meet performance expectations.
He continued that their systems are not absolutely immune to challenges but promised that they will fix and strengthen them to ensure proper service delivery.
Regional Manager of NRA, Bo, Alex Mambu, said that the findings indicate systemic lapses but that they have already instituted measures to ensure tax compliance for effective revenue generation. He concluded that the Report is a call to action for them to own up to their statutory mandates.
Deliberations on the need to work together in addressing issues raised in the Audit Report, climaxed the meeting.
By Sulaiman B. Sowa
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