March 28, 2019
Constructive engagement with pillars of integrity is one of the Anti-Corruption Commission’s (ACC) preventive mechanism used to dialogue with public sector institutions on how corruption safeguards can be integrated into their daily operational activities. In this regard, the ACC Public Education Unit, North has engaged staff and councilors of the Karene District Council (KDC) to enlighten them on the aforementioned subject at the Conference Hall, Karene District Council, Kamakwie town, Karene District on Thursday 21st March 2019.
Speaking to staff and councilors of KDC, ACC Public Education Officer, Abdulai Saccoh highlighted the significance of the meeting and described it as an affirmative action to working with ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) of government to address their system weaknesses. Saccoh said that as the architect of development at local level it is imperative on council to promote practices and policies that enhance transparency and accountability in the discharge of their duties. The Public Education Officer admonished his audience that the aspiration of the people could not be realized if the activities of council are inundated with corruption. He disclosed that public perception about some council is negative but as a new one they must ensure that they uphold public trust by doing the right thing.
Saccoh dilated on a number of offences as enshrined in part four of the AC Act 2008 such as: misappropriation of public funds or property, misappropriation of donor funds/property; abuse of office; conflict of interest; gift, corruption accusation of wealth and offering, soliciting and accepting and advantage. He reminded staff and councilors of the consequences that awaits anyone convicted of the abovementioned offences which may amount to a fine not less than thirty million Leones or imprisonment for a term not less than three years. The Public Education Officer provided his audience with an up to date information on the Commission’s operational activities from all fronts. It included but not limited to the twelve billion Leones that have been recovered over the past eight months and on the proposed amendment that have been made on certain portion of the AC Act 2008 that is now tabled in parliament. Saccoh revealed to staff of KDC that when the amendment bill would have been passed by the legislative house it would be unprofitable venture for public officials to indulge in acts of corruption.
Explaining the rationale of the engagement to staff and councilors of KDC, ACC Public Education Officer, Jeneba Kemoh said the meeting was meant to establish another tier of partnership with duty bearers that drive development programs at local level. Madam Kemoh reminded her audience of the Commission’s determination to pursue injustice wherever its ugly head is raised. The Public Education Officer urged the KDC administration to intensify their monitoring and supervision of MDAs devolved to them.
She implored her audience to make relevant use of mobile free toll line on 077985985/077986986 or 161; 515 to report bribery or in person at ACC’s offices across the country. Madam Kemoh assured them of informant protection as enshrined in the AC Act 2008 but cautioned that people should desist from making false report as it is a punishable offence.
Earlier, KDC Deputy Administrator Mr Madieu Kallon, said, they were pleased to have ACC in their midst noting that such engagement serve as checks on their activity and enable them to come up with reforms that would improve their services. Mr. Kallon assured the Commission, on behalf of his colleagues, of their fullest cooperation to adhere to the advice and work within the ambit of the law.