September 26, 2016 By Ibrahim Tarawallie
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has with technical support from Coffey International engaged journalists on the reporting platform of the ‘Pay No Bribe’ campaign, which will be launched today (26 September).
In 2014, President Ernest Bai Koroma launched the ‘Pay No Bribe’ campaign, which is a £4.7 million funded project by the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) to help stem corruption through bribery.
The campaign, which would last for a three year period, was seen as an apparent response to perception surveys carried out by Transparency International and Afro Barometer that painted a negative picture of the state of corruption in the country, especially by means of bribery.
During a demonstration on Friday (23 September) on how the reporting platform will look like, Martin Simonsen from Coffey International – the campaign consultant – stated that it would be an innovative reporting mechanism for citizens to anonymously report incidences of corruption and bribery.
He explained that Sierra Leoneans could make a bribery complaint to the call centre using the 515 toll free hotline phone number, a mobile app that can be downloaded and used without data charge and the internet.
“A caller has to answer eleven (11) questions depending on the top level choices to generate a report. All calls will be anonymous and the call centre will operate from 8a.m. to 5p.m. from Monday to Thursday, and on Friday it will be closed at 4p.m.,” he said.
Also, Manager of the National Anti-Corruption Strategy, Patrick George said the Pay No Bribe campaign was meant to fight grand and petty corruption, and that it also provides an opportunity for citizens to report incidences of corruption.
He revealed that they are currently dealing with six ministries, departments and agencies in the pilot phase of the campaign, including the Sierra Leone Police Force, Ministries of Education, Science and Technology, and Health and Sanitation, Electricity Distribution and Supply Authority, Sierra Leone Water Company (SALWACO) and Guma Valley Water Company.
He said the aforementioned institutions were selected as corruption prone entities as a result of a survey carried out by Coffey International in 2014.
He continued that they would carry out trend analysis, coupled with what they would receive from the reporting platform to add other institutions, adding, “Provisions have also made for other institutions in the reporting platform.”
According to him, the first six months of the project would focus on the Western Urban, Western Rural, Bo, Kenema and Bombali Districts respectively.
He opined that MDAs would be provided with monthly report, disseminated by ACC, to enable targeting and resolution, adding that the commission would also track MDAs resolution and publish results on a quarterly basis.
Deputy Director of Public Education and Outreach Department of the ACC, Patrick Sandi, urged journalists to support them by helping raise the awareness of the public on the campaign.