Speaking at the sensitization meeting, Senior Investigations Officer, ACC, Umaru Sesay stated, the Pay No Bribe reporting portal was unveiled in September 2016 intended to strengthen public institutions for improved and efficient service delivery to the public. Sesay furthered, the PNB is an anonymous reporting system that provides a platform for the public to report experiences of bribery in the five pilot sectors; health, education, energy, water and the Sierra Leone Police. The Senior Investigator stated that the PNB is a trend analysis approach, that leads to targeted intervention from an informed position. He added that MDAs are to institute measures to discourage bribe taking and paying.
The SLP is a dignified institution noting, that endemic bribery in the Force would result in the breakdown of law and order, he added. Sesay urged officers to remain resolved in changing the negative public perception about the SLP. The Senior Investigation Officer further emphasized that the Complaints, Discipline and Internal, Investigation Department (CDIID) should remain focused in enforcing internal control systems, and all police personnel should resist, reject and report incidences of bribery to the PNB hotline 515, the mobile APP and the PNB website, www.pnb.gov.sl. Mr. Sesay pointed out that, the PNB is the UK Government funded project, aimed at enhancing the operations of MDAs through the elimination of bribery, for improved delivery of services to the public.
Speaking on the causes and effects of bribery, Public Education Officer Abdulai Saccoh explained bribery as enshrined in Section 28, of the 2008 AC Act as “A person who, whether in Sierra Leone or elsewhere, without lawful authority or reasonable excuse, gives, agrees to give or offers an advantage to a public officer as an inducement to or reward for otherwise on account of such public officer…. performing or abstaining from performing… expediting, delaying, hindering or preventing… assisting, favouring, hindering or delaying…”. Mr. Saccoh noted that bribery should not be seen as a way of life, as it is neither part of our custom nor our tradition. He dilated on the PNB report and shed light on key areas in the report where bribery is prevalent in the Sierra Leone Police with specific reference to the traffic and bail divisions.
He catalogued the causes of bribery such as: misuse of discretionary power, lack of integrity, lack of transparency and accountability, non-enforcement of the law, and weak or absence of proper management systems. Saccoh enumerated some of the effects of bribery as; poor infrastructure, increased cost of goods and services, increased poverty, shoddy work and stalled projects, poor medical services, reduced investments in the economy, rise in crime rates and insecurity, negative international image, to state just a few. The Public Educator said, poverty should not be used as a justification to solicit and accept bribes. He advised his audience to desist from either receiving or paying bribes for the development of Sierra Leone.
Earlier, in his welcome statement, Chief Superintendent (CSP) Francis N. Bundor, Local Unit Commander (LUC) Rogbaneh Division, commended ACC for the PNB campaign initiative, noting that it will largely and positively advance the fight against corruption in the country. CSP Bundor implored his officers to adhere to the anti-corruption messages communicated by the ACC team.
Questions and answers formed the high point of the engagement.
PAY NO BRIBE! TAKE NO BRIBE!