June 17, 2016 By Memunatu Bangura
The Anti- Corruption Commission (ACC) yesterday ended a pre-launch regional sensitisation meeting on the “Pay No Bribe” (PNB) campaign at their 3 Gloucester Street office in Freetown.
Deputy Director of Public Education and Outreach, Patrick Sandi, disclosed that the PNB was a three-year project that would be piloted in four districts – Bo, Kenema, Bombali and Western Area.
He said the project would also be piloted in five MDAs, including the Sierra Leone Police, Water Sector, Energy Sector, Ministry of Health and Sanitation and Ministry of Education, Science and Technology.
He explained that the project was supported by the Government of Sierra Leone and the United Kingdom through the Department for International Development (DFID), disclosing that it was a £4.7 million project.
According to him, the campaign would encourage the public to report cases of petty bribery and other acts of corruption in various ministries, departments and agencies, adding that it would also give the Commission capacity to be able to address complaints of corruption emanating from those institutions.
Manager of the National Anti-Corruption Strategy (NACS), Patrick George, said the ACC had established a portal call centre where people would report corruption and bribery in various MDAs, adding that after the complaints are recorded, they would be downloaded and analysed.
He reiterated that the call centre would be an anonymous reporting centre that would provide data on the trends of bribery in the five pilot MDAs, and that reports would be generated through a short code 515 toll free line, the PNB website: www.pnb.gov.sl and a mobile application that would be available shortly.
“The calls will be processed, analysed and submitted to the respective MDAs for administrative actions/resolutions and system reforms. Integrity Management Committees (IMCs) of the MDAs will provide institutional leadership in dealing with the complaints and provide feedback to the ACC within four working days after receipt of the report,” he explained.
He also stated, among other things, that the ACC has recruited staff that would be responsible to receiving calls and complaints from the public on issues relating to bribery and corruption, develop a standard operating strategy, technical and steering committee, and establish an Integrity Management Committee in MDAs.
He added that they plan to organise a training for staff at the call centre and communication experts to aid CSOs.
Team Leader of Coffey International, Elizabeth Marsh, said the PNB campaign was launched in 2014 by the Government of Sierra Leone as an attempt to address issues of bribery and corruption in the public sector.
She narrated that the UK Department for International Development (DFID) in 2014 joined forces with the government of Sierra Leone to actualise and implement the ‘support to anti -corruption in Sierra Leone’ programme.
Ms. Marsh said the PNB was one of two components of their programme and that Coffey was brought in as technical advisor to the Government of Sierra Leone and ACC, while DfID provides technical support to the PNB project.
She said that over the years Coffey had been working to set up a system and build the capacity of ACC staff to implement the project, and encouraged citizens to report bribery and corruption cases.