The officers said they have heard about the PNB and are willing to support the campaign to address bribery.
The Pay No Bribe (PNB) programme is funded with 4.7 million British pounds from the UK Government in financial aid and technical assistance.
It targets five service delivery institutions such as; the police, health, education, GUMA/SALWACO, and EDSA. The Pay No Bribe campaign has the objective of improving service delivery, curbing bribery and petty corruption, developing and instituting policies, and instilling discipline and integrity in the workplace.
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), together with Center for Accountability and the Rule of Law (CARL), was at the Sierra Leone Correctional Services (SLCS) to inform personnel on the PNB and to solicit their support in tackling bribery.
Head of the team, Samuel Marah, ACC Southern Regional Manager, said the issue of bribery concerns every one for action by reporting its occurrences to the Commission. He said correctional officers are entrusted to provide safe custody to inmates on remand, trial, and those convicted. They are charged to manage their welfare and wellbeing, and should also protect their rights. He said the center is open to the public and in the process correctional officers can be exposed to temptation to indulge in malpractices ranging from transporting of unwanted materials or articles to inmates, offering preferential treatment to some, allowing inmates access outside the facility at odd hours, and receiving and soliciting bribes from visitors.
He said the PNB frowns at all forms of corruption and admonished personnel to reject and report instances of bribery happening at the facility. He warned against acceptance of gifts from the public, especially while on duty. Some members of the public who offer gifts will be the ones spreading information of bribery to access inmates. He said the Commission is pleased to forge a relationship with the SLCS so that both institutions will share intelligence to address bribery and corruption. He noted that the ACC has a Systems and Processes Review Department that identifies vulnerabilities in the operations of MDAs and proffer measures to addressing the challenges.
CARL Coordinator South, Jeremy Simbo, said there is no way Sierra Leone will succeed in defeating the scourge of corruption and bribery leaving out correctional officers. He encouraged them to report instances of bribery, and arrest persons attempting to bribe them. According to Mr. Simbo, personnel, who encounter bribery on accessing services of the police, education, health, electricity, and water, should make report to the ACC through the free line 515, mobile APP in Krio, Temne and Mende or the website www.pnb.gov.sl.