By Sulaiman B. Sowa
The Eastern Region Office of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) in Kenema has engaged staff of the National Civil Registration Authority (NCRA) as part of efforts to instill the values of integrity in public service. The engagement took place at the NCRA Eastern Region Office in Kenema on the 24th February, 2022.
ACC’s Senior Public Education Officer Sulaiman B. Sowa described integrity as a personal choice of doing the right thing that is uncompromising and consistent with moral values, ethical standards and official principles. He further stated that public sector integrity refers to the core values and behavioral standards expected of state employees in public office.
Mr. Sowa said that building a culture of integrity in the public sector can facilitate transparency, promote accountability and help regulate issues of conflict of interest.
He emphasized that integrity comes at a personal cost but it gains surpasses all things money can buy. He therefore called on all staff of NCRA to uphold and embrace integrity as it guarantees a peace of mind and ensures dignity.
Speaking on some of the offences in the Anti-Corruption Act of 2008 as amended in 2019, Quinton David, Investigation Officer, said the offences carry lengthy jail terms and heavy fines as well.
Mr. David singled out key offences such as; soliciting and accepting advantage, conspiracy, unexplained wealth and failing to declare income, assets and liabilities, noting that each carries a minimum fine of Fifty Million Leones or a jail term of not less than five years or both jail term and fine.
He emphasized that people recruited by NCRA on temporal basis are public officers by the definition in the AC Act of 2008 as amended and therefore entreated all to play by the laid down rules to prevent corruption.
Appreciating the deliberations, Sama Vandi Sama, Regional Registration Officer, said the theme of the engagement is in line with their core values. He acknowledged that temptations abound in public service but emphasized that with integrity, all forces of corruption can be defeated and avoided. He assured the Commission of their relentless support in the fight against corruption.