President Koroma tells visiting MCC executives Government committed to the fight against corruption

By State House Communications Unit :

President Dr Ernest Bai Koroma has assured the visiting Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC )  Acting Vice President for Compact Operations, Jonathan Bloom that government is committed to the fight against corruption not just to qualify for the MCC, but to ensure it impacts positively on the development of the country.

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Acting Vice President Compact Operations Millennium Challenge Cooperation (MCC) Jonathan Bloom and Chris Dunn pay courtesy call on President Dr Ernest Bai Koroma at State House this morning to give an update on the outcome of the board meeting a few weeks ago in the Washington. 

“I am happy that you have time to come immediately after your Board meeting and to know that you have decided to continue the engagement with us”, he said, and added that their arrival in the country is in appreciation of the efforts government is making in the fight against corruption, and noted that controlling corruption is not only the responsibility of government as even the public has a big role to play.

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Acting Vice President Compact Operations Millennium Challenge Cooperation (MCC) Jonathan Bloom and Chris Dunn pay courtesy call on President Dr Ernest Bai Koroma at State House this morning to give an update on the outcome of the board meeting a few weeks ago in the Washington. 

President Koroma highlighted the strides government has made in fighting corruption since assuming office in 2007, saying that government has passed one of the toughest anti-corruption laws in Africa. He also noted that government has given free hand to the anti-graft body to operate and prosecute high profile cases involving government ministers as well as put in place mechanisms to promote transparency by subjecting the budgeting system to debate by civil society groups.

The president further said that although there are still challenges, the government is moving on with the battle to combat corruption. “We are working on ensuring that those that are found guilty are charged to court without delay”, said President Koroma.

He also told the MCC team that the judiciary is also being strengthened to make its work more effective and assured that government will put in place structures to guarantee the smooth operation of the Freedom of Information Act passed recently, stressing that government has also applied for the Open Government Partnership with the US Government.

Visiting MCC acting Vice President, Jonathan Bloom informed President Koroma that they were in the country to update him on the outcome of the last MCC Board meeting and its relevance to Sierra Leone.

“We will continue the compact development with Sierra Leone”, he stated, and furthered that it must have been stressful even for the president in combating corruption in the country.

Mr. Bloom also said that a critical part of MCC operations is the selection of countries for the compact development which is based on 20 objective indicators falling under three broad categories, including investing in people, ruling justly and economic freedom. Sierra Leone, he noted, passed four of them under the ruling justly category, and observed that the control of corruption is the duty of every citizen as the MCC wants to ensure that their money will be used specifically for the development of the country.

He however acknowledged that the indicators are not perfect, although the control of corruption is a very strong indicator. The MCC acting VP also acknowledged the extraordinary efforts the country has made, including the outstanding efforts of the MCC unit in the compact development process, saying that they will continue to work with Sierra Leone through a more limited engagement, while other activities will continue.

According to Mr. Bloom, the impact of the MCC engagement is that Sierra Leone must eventually pass the scorecard and suggested specific activities for the way forward. “We congratulate you for passing the Freedom of Information Act, as well as steps taken to promote transparency in the country”.

“We hope that Sierra Leone will pass the score card next year so you can develop a program that reflects your development priorities”, he added.

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