Accountability Platform Ends Inaugural Meeting
Vice President Dr. Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh has chaired a meeting of the Government High Level Accountability Platform held at the Office of the Vice President, Tower Hill, Freetown.
The newly formed Accountability Platform comprising the Anti-Corruption Commission, Parliamentary Accounts Committee, Audit Service Sierra Leone, Ministry of Finance, Public Sector Reform Unit, was established to ensure efficiency in the effort to improve performance and government accountability. This platform, the Hon. Vice President noted, will be an information sharing platform that will help in making better coordination of accountability issues, track and deliver on benchmarks, ensure compliance with Auditor-General’s recommendations, and help support the ACC in controlling corruption in Sierra Leone.
The meeting was attended by the Commissioner of ACC, the CEO of the National Public Procurement Authority, the Deputy Speaker and Chair of the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament (PAC), the Financial Secretary of Ministry of Finance, the Auditor General, the MCCU Coordinator, the Minister of State in the VP’s office and other support staff of the respective constituent institutions of the Platform.
Ndeye Koroma, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of MCCU, highlighted the objectives of the high-level accountability platform. These objectives, she explained, were centered on how government institutions can coordinate to enhance accountability and transparency in gaining citizens’ trust in Government.
Mrs. Koroma also underscored that, pursuing these objectives require a high-level involvement and presupposes a technical team to drive the process. The Team will work to integrating all international benchmarks in addition to the MCC and solving the systemic complications within MDAs, promoting collaboration and cooperation, taking a holistic view and approach in improving service delivery by identifying leakages, wastage, and inefficiencies through the implementation of strategies to address these issues.
The lack of cooperation by MDAs was highlighted by the Anti-Corruption Commissioner, Francis Ben Kaifala as he noted that “cooperation of MDAs with auditors is a big challenge and that is a fundamental issue to be addressed by all to ensure a better accountability space.” He went further to say “if the underlying issues of co-operation in regard timely disclosure are tackled, most issues in the Audit Report will not recur.”
In her submission, the Auditor General (AG), Audit Service Sierra Leone, Lara Taylor-Pearce, maintained that, all MDAs should realize that the AG’s office is to be seen as a “watchdog rather than a bloodhound” and allow them to do their job.
The resolution that meetings of this nature should be convened quarterly, as and when deemed necessary was agreed and thereafter the meeting was adjourned.