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Tuesday, May 24, 2022
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UK pledges support for fight against corruption

By Alimamy Lahai Kamara

The British High Commissioner to Sierra Leone has said the United Kingdom attaches importance to anti-corruption issues in Sierra Leone. Peter West made the statement during the launch of the National Anti-Corruption Strategy 2014-2018 (NACS) at the Miatta Conference Centre in Freetown last week. “Corruption is a constraint to progress, therefore, the UK government supports anti-corruption actions such as the pay no bribe campaign,” he said.

While launching the National Anti-Corruption Strategy on behalf of President Ernest Bai Koroma, Professor Monty Jones said the government has taken a strategic measure in the fight against corruption by empowering the ACC and guaranteeing its independence. Professor Jones said that unless the causes of corruption are addressed, society empowered to stand up for rights, and the political will to make critical decisions created, corruption will continue unabated.

The Strategy takes a keen look at partnership and administrative measures which ministries, departments and agencies can adopt for tackling graft. The Strategy also talks about public-private sector partnership, sound procurement practices, transparency and accountability, political will and leadership, and integrity pact as key tools that can drive actions against graft and stimulate development in both the private and public sectors.

Dr. Julius Sandy, Secretary to the Vice President and chair of the launching ceremony, said Sierra Leoneans should take ownership of the NACS 2014-2018 and provide leadership for its implementation. Everyone should uphold policies that maximize the efficiency of service delivery. He reminded public officers about their responsibility to the citizenry and urged them to deliver on those duties for the benefit of Sierra Leone.  He said that those managing government and donor projects, those involved in procurement, interpreting the law, and managing the banking and mining sectors should conduct their operations according to laid down policies and standards that are in the interest of the country.

ACC Commissioner Joseph F. Kamara described the NACS 2014-2018 as a document that formulates a new path through which Sierra Leoneans can be guided in their day-to-day operations. The integration of anti-corruption policies into the administrative procedures within MDAs can be a significant achievement towards minimizing corruption. He called for a paradigm shift from public awareness on corruption issues to public engagement that stimulates popular action which rejects corruption, and names and shames the corrupt.

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