March 1, 2019
By Ishmael Sallieu Koroma
The Civil Society Consortium on Community Accountability has urged the Parliament of Sierra Leone (SL) to adopt the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Amendment Act of 2019 that has been tabled in the House.
They made the call at a press briefing held on Wednesday, 27 February at the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ) Headquarters on Campbell Street in Freetown.
According to a statement read by the National Coordinator of the consortium, William Sao –Lamin, they viewed with concern the full inclusion of the citizenry in strengthening prudent use of state resources for rapid national development aspirations.
“Over the years, the Anti-Corruption Commission had been faced with bottlenecks in enforcing punitive measures with open ended regulations of the ACC Act 2008.Culprits had capitalised on sections of the Act to misappropriate funds against the background that they would be levied fines far below the stipulated offences,” he observed.
He urged the need for the undermentioned amendments to meet international standards and credibility for global partnership.
He cited the need to amend section 36 Act No. 12 of 2008, so that the court shall order the full payment of amount misappropriated into the consolidated fund.
He also mentioned the need to amend Section 76 of Act No.12 of 2008 to ensure the increment of fine from three million Leones to Thirty Million Leones, as well as ensures the replacement of six months imprisonment with three years.
He further reiterated the need to amend sections 78, 85 and 89 of the Act.
On the issue of asset declaration, the civil society organisations urged parliament to amend Section 122 of the Act.
The National Coordinator urged parliament to without delay, table the bill and ultimately enact the ACC Act of 2019.
On his part, Executive Director, Child Welfare Society (CWS), Moses Mambu elaborated that they have been looking at service delivery for the past five years, helping in the area of transparency and accountability.
‘’Few months ago, we signed an official MOU with the ACC to help them in combating and fighting corruption, using our platforms and networks in the country and even around the world. We have contributed in the development of all ACC documents, including the current 2008 ACC Act,’’ he said.
Director of Public Education and Outreach Department at the ACC, Patrick Sandi, said the commission has come a long way, despite the challenges they have been going through, adding that there was need for a review of the ACC Act.
He added that the amendment was made against the backdrop that corruption issues were very dynamic.