As the implementation of the revised National Anti Corruption Strategy (NACS) 2011-2013 is in the offing, the NACS Secretariat of the Anti Corruption Commission (ACC), on Thursday, April 5 concluded two day training with Ministries Departments Agencies (MDAs) and Civil Society Monitors at the Commission’s Conference Hall, Mena Hills, Makeni.
Speaking at the commencement of the training, the Public Education Officer North, Mrs. Fatmata Finda Bangura, on behalf of the Commissioner, Mr. Joseph F. Kamara Esq. and the Commission’s staff warmly welcomed the participants and assured them of a happy stay at the office. She implored all present to treat the fight against corruption seriously in a bid to contribute meaningfully to the development of Sierra Leone. She emphasized the need for collaboration and partnership with the MDAs which she said was central to the meeting.
In his opening remarks, the Regional Manager North, Mr. Patrick Sandi, stressed on the crucial role heads and representatives of MDAs at the training could play to ensure the successful implementation of the revised strategy. He dilated on the three-pronged approach used by the Commission to fight corruption namely; education, prevention and enforcement, making clear mention of the NACS strategy as an important prevention mechanism in addressing the opportunities of corruption that exist within the systems of the Ministries, Departments and Agencies.
He highlighted the five strategic principles of the revised strategy, namely, the comprehensive approach to the process of reform, zero tolerance to corruption, the use of multiple measures to fight graft, partnership and the adherence to the rule of law.
He maintained that the ACC is leading the fight with the mandate to take all steps necessary for the prevention, suppression and eradication of corruption, nothing that it was expected of all MDAs to promote and enhance transparency and accountability in their workplaces. He further stated that the workshop was challenging as it demanded new resolve and commitment on the part of the MDAs to make Sierra Leone a corrupt free nation.
“Today, let us feel as patriotically charting another good path for the development of our country. Consequently, it behooves us all to put into the process all our energies, strengths and efforts,” he emphasized.
Speaking on the Revised Strategy, the NACS Director, Mr. Nabillahi Musa- Kamara, underscored the point that MDAs were very strategic to the governance structure of Sierra Leone. He explained that it was the business of Government to formulate policies, but that the implementation was the responsibility of the MDAs. The Director stressed that the implementation process was the business of all and is only being coordinated by the Commissioner and the NACS Secretariat.
Monitoring of the revised strategy, the Director emphasized, will start in the second quarter of 2012 and that they were expecting all MDAs to have put their houses in order. Mr. Musa-Kamara stated that the monitoring process will comprise civil society monitors, supported by the monitoring and compliance team of the ACC, as the ACC was expecting the monitoring and its outcomes and reports to be independent.
The Director further said that the ACC was doing its best to fight corruption in the country, though it had come under serious vilifications. These challenges, he said, will not dampen the efforts and the commitment of the Commission to eliminate corruption in Sierra Leone.
He concluded that the monitoring reports were not going to be report cards but they will be geared towards showing the commitment and determination of the MDAs to deal with the identified key corruption issues prevailing at that time in their entities.
Contributing, the NACS Coordinating Officer, Mr. David Bayoh explained that the formation of the Integrity Management Committee is one of the unique features of the revised strategy.
He made a power point presentation on the NACS implementation matrix, adding great value to the training.
Questions, contributions, comments and clarifications climaxed the training.