February 13, 2018 By Ibrahim Tarawallie
Commissioner of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has stated that the commission was contemplating to reviewing the assets declaration system in a bid to ensure it is fair and protective.
Concerns have been raised from some sections of the public with regards the secrecy that surrounds the assets declaration process, as the ACC Act proscribes any form of disclosure about public officials’ assets declaration.
Thus, the public has been calling for a review of that particular section so as to promote transparency and accountability in the assets declaration process.
In an interview with Concord Times at his Gloucester Street office in Freetown, Commissioner Ady Macauley reiterated that the law forbids disclosure of the content of assets declared and that they would continue to enforce it.
However, he said they were currently formulating a regulation that would look specifically into the entire asset declaration process
“The ACC is a law enforcement body and we are here to uphold the law. For now the law says that you cannot divulge the content of the asset declaration. It is a matter of engaging the public and it is something we have to weigh,” he said.
He spoke also about the possibility of having a national debate to know the way forward for the asset declaration process.
According to him, cooperation from public officials so far has been good, adding that in 2017 the number of declarants increased from 20,000 the previous year to 35,000.
“We hope to better that figure this year. Asset declaration is something that needs continuously engaging the officials with regards compliance,” Commissioner Macauley maintained.
With regards his job as head of the country’s anti-graft agency, the ACC boss said: “So far I feel fulfilled even though we have faced challenges but there are quite a lot of gains we have made. The fight is not an easy one. One of our major challenges has been to get the support and cooperation of everyone. In the fight against corruption, you need the citizens to be with you.”
Mr. Macauley, who has been head graft fighter since April 2016, added that they have gone a long way in enlisting the support of ministries, departments and agencies although there was still room for improvement, which they are working towards.