Speaking to members of the IMCs and Heads of MDAs, NACS Manager, Patrick George implored public sector workers to take the fight against corruption very seriously if the Sierra Leone is to have an affluent economy that will cater for all.
Mr. George informed his audience that he is disappointed at the snail-paced actions of Heads of MDAs to fully ensure the effective operations of IMCs in their respective Departments which he said, is a clear show of unwillingness and reluctance to deal with the system weaknesses or corruption opportunities identified by the Strategy.
The NACS Manager called on Heads and members of IMCs to imbibe the culture of integrity and avoid the practice of corruption which he said is responsible for the slowdown in the economy. He stressed that MDAs are to effectively curb corruption and increase service delivery which is the core objective of the NACS.
Giving an overview of the NACS, Implementation Analyst, Edita Fofana dilated on the measures in the Strategy which she said are mandatory and are clearly outlined in the matrix otherwise referred to as the NACS Implementation Action Plan 2014-2018. Together with these mandatory requirements are voluntary requirements also spelt out in the NACS 2014-18 otherwise known as the Anti-Corruption-Toolkits. MDAs are strongly encouraged to implement its provisions such as; instituting anti-corruption policies, Integrity Pacts and Pledges, Gifts Registers, Service Delivery Charters, Conflict of Interest Rules, adherence to procurement and Asset Declaration regimes, she furthered.
Mrs. Fofana also explained the Pay No Bribe (PNB) project jointly led by the ACC and the Office of the Chief of Staff to combat bribery and petty corruption in five pilot MDAs- Health, Education, EDSA, GUMA/SALWACO and SLP. She encouraged participants to call 515 free on all the networks to make their complaints.
In his address, Joseph Hazeley Public Education Officer, ACC who also chaired the engagements, underscored, the NACS 2014-18 is Sierra Leone’s national plan to orchestrate anti-corruption efforts. It seeks to bring on board the various pillars of integrity in the fight against corruption with the main objectives of improving the delivery of social services in terms of quality, quantity and process, and a public service that is effective in preventing and confronting corruption without compromising the peace and security of the State.
Mr. Hazeley called on all to take responsibility and fully implement the Strategy.
In their response, Heads of MDAs said, they are inhibited to fully implement the NACS by the non allocation of quarterly funds by the central Government stressing, since the beginning of this year there has been no allocation of funds to them by the Government.
Section 5(1) of the Anti-Corruption Act (ACA) 2008 makes provision for the Commissioner of the ACC to coordinate the implementation of the National Anti-Corruption Strategy. This function is however delegated to the National Anti-Corruption Strategy (NACS) Secretariat.