The aim of the PNB awareness raising meetings is to explain the operations and objectives of the PNB campaign to institutions within the pilot sectors of the project – that is the Education, Health, Energy, Water and Police. NCTVA was chosen as one of the meeting points because it is one of the key agencies in the education sectors in Sierra Leone.
Welcoming the ACC at NCTVA, the Director, Mr. Mohamed A. Jalloh expressed gratefulness to the ACC for coming to his institution with the campaign. He was however quick to maintain that even though there were potential opportunities for bribery at an institution like the NCTVA, there had not been any recent incident. He mentioned some of the areas where bribery could have the potential to penetrate – such as issuance of results, preparation of results, to name but a few. He noted that it is a step in the right direction to have the ACC at the NCTVA and was hopeful that it will mean a lot for the development of transparency and accountability in their structures.
Delivering the keynote statement, ACC’s Head of Unit (HoU) Public Education, Michael Sesay drew the attention of NCTVA staff to the Anti-Corruption Act 2008 in Section 7 (2) which gives the mandate to the ACC to conduct public education and awareness raising campaigns on the nature, causes, effects and solutions to the problem of corruption in Sierra Leone. Mr. Sesay informed staff of the institution that the PNB campaign is one of the initiatives the Government of Sierra Leone and her funding partner, DFID are using to gauge incidences of bribery in service delivery sectors. The HoU stressed that bribery in the education sector is a serious matter and especially for an institution like the NCTVA.
Mr. Sesay further explained that the PNB reporting platform is an innovative mechanism for Sierra Leoneans to anonymously report their experiences of petty corruption and bribery. The Commission will regularly publish data on citizen reports through the 515 toll free line, the website and the mobile app which are the three main ways reports can be made for the PNB.
Analyzing the current state of the PNB portal, Alice Sama, Call Centre Operator, revealed that PNB reports are anonymous and geared towards a trend analysis that mainly focuses on figuring out the occurrence of bribery in the pilot MDAs in particular rather than prosecutions. Mrs. Sama noted that the PNB project operates with a reporting portal that approaches the fight against bribery scientifically.The three variables whose frequency distribution is published in the portal through the website (www.pnb.gov.sl) are: I PAID A BRIBE; I DID NOT PAY A BRIBE AND I MET AN HONEST OFFICIAL.
Giving updates on the current state of the reporting trends, Call Centre Operator Alice, stated that as at 8:00 am of the 23rd February, 10,092 reports have been recorded. Among these, those who reported that they paid a bribe were 8,236; those who said they did not were 1,107, while those who acknowledged they met an honest official were 749. The Education sector Alice noted recorded the second highest reports after the Police.
The meeting was concluded with a question and answer session which addressed many aspects in the fight against corruption in Sierra Leone.