March 31, 2015 By Ann Marie Dumbuya
The National Revenue Authority (NRA), Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) and Sierra Leone Ports Authority (SLPA) have on March 26 signed a memorandum of understanding for the purpose of working together in jointly fostering the prevention and fight against corruption for increased revenue collection.
NRA Commissioner-General, Madam Haja Kallah-Kamara, said the agreement commits the three institutions to work towards a common goal. “We are aware that we cannot discharge our mandate effectively and efficiently without promoting integrity within and outside our institutions,” she said.
Madam Kallah-Kamara stated that both the SLPA and ACC are invaluable partners to the NRA’s operations.
“The ACC is no stranger to us as we have collaborated in many ways. Through our cooperation, we have developed a corporate integrity policy and also a Revenue Intelligence and Investigations unit. These are all strategies to improve on integrity and fight corruption,” she said.
“The NRA and SLPA not only share operations at the Queen Elizabeth II Quay, but also the blame for all mishandled containers and events that go awry. For too long, the dealings between the two institutions have been tainted by mistrusts and accusations. Today marks the dawn of a new relationship. With this tripartite agreement, we embark on a journey marked by collaboration, support and information sharing. In signing this MoU, we herald the advent of optimal ports security, maximum revenue collection and minimum tolerance for corruption.”
Chairman of the NRA Board of Directors, Sulaiman Kabba-Koroma Esq., added that the signing of the MoU signifies a concrete step in increasing mutual cooperation between the three institutions, especially in the mix of operations at the Queen Elizabeth II Quay, which he explained is a critical and important operational hub in doing business in the country.
He said this necessitates the need to promote integrity, impartiality and independence, which he explained justified the addition of the Anti-Corruption Commission in the tripartite agreement.
He commended the heads of NRA, ACC and SLPA for their insight and support towards the realization of the agreements set forth in the MoU.
The three parties to the MoU, mindful of the need to foster cooperation and exchange information, have agreed to achieve among others the following objectives: enhancing effective communication especially the exchange of information regarding the safety and efficient running of the national ports and border posts; collaborating and assisting each other on investigations and intelligence gathering especially around revenue fraud, tax evasion or avoidance; working jointly in controlling corruption in port security, revenue collection and tax administration; and developing innovations within preventive activities in order for the three institutions to make a more significant impact in enhancing security in the country, especially at border posts and ports of entry.