Sierra Leone Telegraph: 22 April 2019:
Sierra Leone’s Anti-Corruption Commissioner last Thursday, 18th April 2019, met with several Deputy Ministers to discuss feedback and reports posted by citizens on the Pay No Bribe (PNB) campaign reporting platform about their respective ministries.
The PNB reporting platform gives citizens the opportunity to report petty corruption or bribery to the ACC mainly through the 515 (all networks, save Qcell) toll free telephone line.
The ACC normally compile and send the reports to the respective ministries to take action that could address systemic weaknesses in the institution, but on this occasion ACC Commissioner Francis Ben Kaifala decided to take the reports personally to the deputy ministers.
talking to the deputy ministers, Commissioner Ben Kaifala expressed satisfaction that there is now a buy-in from ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) of government in the fight against corruption.
He noted that both the ACC and the MDAs share a common objective, which is to ensure that the governance system is fair and transparent, with a degree of integrity that service delivery and resources can reach the intended beneficiaries.
He said that prevention is a critical strategy in combating corruption in public institutions; adding that the leadership of public institutions have a major role to play in achieving this goal.
The Director of the National Anti-Corruption Commission Strategy Secretariat, Nabilahi-Musa Kamara, said that the engagement is geared towards ensuring that the reports from the public, which have been processed by the ACC, are addressed by the various MDAs.
He reminded the deputy ministers that, public perception is key in the fight against corruption; thus it is very important that when these complaints are made, the heads of the institutions take conscious efforts to address them, so as to assure the public that action is being taken on the reports they make to the ACC.
Deputy Minister of Higher and Technical Education – Turad Senesie, assured the ACC of the maximum cooperation of the ministries mentioned in the reports. “At the Ministry of Higher & Technical Education, we have already started implementing proactive measures to address bribery and other corruption-related practices. We have completed the appointment of Quality Assurance Focal Persons across the different Universities to increase service delivery,” he said.
Also present at the meeting were Dr. Eldred Taylor, Deputy Minister of Energy; Dr. Edward H. Sandy, Deputy Minister of Water Resources and others.
The PNB campaign was established by the ACC in 2014 with support from the UK Department for International Development (DFID). It seeks to empower citizens in a way that they can make complaints on bribery and other corruption-related activities to the ACC through the 515 in service delivery in five key sectors: Education, Health, Sierra Leone Police, Justice, Electricity and Water; and to enable MDAs to respond positively to tackle corruption in service delivery.