February 16, 2018
The Commissioner of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), Ady Macauley Esq., in the jammed-packed Makeni City Council Hall with Coffey International, heads and representatives of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), traditional authorities, the media and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) re-launched the Pay No Bribe (PNB) campaign on Thursday 8th February, 2018.
In his address, Commissioner Macauley said since the launch of PNB campaign over a year, it has reached a moment of self -reproach-to assess the outcomes and to see how areas of concern would be better improved. Mr. Macauley described corruption as ‘a crime against society’ noting that it affects every facets of the society. He highlighted citizens’ role in the campaign noting that they have a stake in the crusade by complementing the ACC in tackling bribery in MDAs. “Bribery and petty corruption are societal problems, therefore, they require societal solutions” ACC Commissioner echoed.
The ACC Boss stated that, the PNB platform is a data capturing tool through which the ACC and its partners have empowered the public to report payment of bribes, resistance to paying bribes and meeting honest officials. He furthered, it is a strategy that help map out bribery trends in the country which informs the ACC to roll out targeted interventions. The PNB also gives opportunity to the MDAs to take internal measures making sure that bribery and petty corruption are dealt with by MDAs, Mr. Macauley averred.
The Commissioner told listeners that corruption has a transactional cost because cost of a bribe paid by business person to a public officer is borne by the unsuspecting consumers. Corruption has made poor people poorer because it takes away their quality of life he noted. He catalogued the PNB reports since 2017 for all the sectors nationwide, noting that though there were challenges, a lot of efforts have been made by MDAs in dealing with these reports in house. The Commissioner emphasized that the targeted sectors; education, health, water, energy, the police and recently the judiciary are public institutions, which whether rich or poor you have to deal with since the services they provide are critical and nationwide.
Speaking at the re-launch ceremony, the Team Lead-Coffey International, Lynda Kerley said, PNB is the government of Sierra Leone initiative led by the ACC in coordination with relevant MDAs. Madam Kerley acknowledged that the campaign is an important initiative that aims to reduce bribery and petty corruption that affects the everyday life of all Sierra Leoneans. She informed her audience that bribery and petty corruption is both systemic and pervasive in the country and as such eliminating it poses a serious challenge. The Team Lead assured her audience that working together with ACC, CSOs, MDAs, District and City Councils and the public, will reduce petty corruption and minimize it impacts on citizens’ lives and wellbeing. She enumerated the adverse consequences of bribery, as it reduces the wellbeing of family and undermines the coping strategies of all including the vulnerable in society and denies citizens the opportunity of better and satisfactory services. Madam Kerley informed her audience that the PNB platform is designed to collect real time evidence of bribery and petty corruption in the six service sectors in order to support the work of the ACC and the MDAs.
Director MADAM Sierra Leone, Mohamed Sorie Conteh informed the audience that over the past one year since the launch of PNB a lot have been achieved in the Bombali District which has enabled them to scale up their activities in the districts of Tonkolili and Koinadugu to spread the PNB messages. Conteh explained the roles of MADAM in the PNB as they seek to facilitate citizens’ access to the PNB reporting system and focuses on its animation work in large population settlement in and around Makeni city through engagement such as, radio discussion programmes, and mobilization of community animation. The Director said, the PNB is not a witch hunt, but a preventive approach to tackle bribery and petty corruption. He stated that corruption is a reputational, security and developmental risk for the country; and it is in the interest of every citizen to support the ACC in eliminating this scourge. ‘If the number of honest official, keeps increasing then the vicious cycle of poverty will be reduced Conteh concluded’.
The occasion was chaired by the Provincial Secretary North Osman Kanu and a high-spirited interactive session formed the highpoint of the programme.