By Abubakarr Turay
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has started a nationwide training of monitors for the monitoring of the implementation of the National Anti-Corruption Strategy (NACS) 2014-2018 by Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of government. The training of monitors for the Western Area took place on Monday at the Cathedral Hall in Freetown, while the one for the northern region took place in Makeni on Tuesday.
Speaking at the training in Freetown, Commissioner of the ACC, Joseph Fitzgerald Kamara, said corruption affects all in society and the fight against the scourge should therefore not be seen as the exclusive preserve of the ACC. He said the Commission has always put premium on partnership and collaboration with all stakeholders in order to reduce the scourge at the barest minimum. He said the anti-corruption campaign should now involve enhancing integrity at the individual level. Mr Kamara said the Commission has now also heightened its prevention and public education drives in a bid to instil the values of transparency, accountability and integrity in public offices. The ACC Commissioner encouraged the monitors to serve as ambassadors of integrity while conducting the exercise.
Manager at the National Anti-Corruption Strategy Secretariat, Patrick Martin George, described the NACS as a national plan to fight corruption. He said the NACS is consistent with Pillar 7 of the Government’s Agenda for Prosperity (Governance and Public Sector Reform) and therefore requires all sectors of society to join in the fight against corruption in the country. He said civil society organisations will monitor and evaluate the activities of the MDAs as against the implementation of the Action Plan of the NACS 2014-2018. In other words, the MDAs will be evaluated on how far they have gone in combating weaknesses that breed corruption in their institutions, Mr George noted.
Senior Monitoring Officer at CARITAS, Amara Johnny, admonished the monitors to conduct the exercise with honesty, sincerity and integrity and with the seriousness that it deserves.
Training of monitors for the Southern and Eastern Regions will be held in Bo and Kenema on Thursday and Friday respectively. The non-governmental organisation CARITAS has been contracted by the ACC to conduct a nationwide monitoring of the implementation of the Action Plan of the NACS by MDAs. The monitors will work in close collaboration with members of Integrity Management Committees of MDAs who have been tasked with the responsibility of implementing the Action Plan of their respective institution.