By KABS KANU :
CHRISTMAS has come very early for the Minister of Transport and Aviation, Mr. Leonard Balogun Koroma. The Anti-Corruption Commission of Sierra Leone today brought tidings of joy for the minister , after what it described as “an in-depth and exhaustive investigation into allegations of procurement violations, dealing with, and bordering on,failure to comply with applicable procedures and guidelines relating to the tendering of the contract for the 100 buses..”
Though procurement procedures were not followed in the purchase of the buses, according to the ACC, Mr. Koroma was found not to have been a member of the procurement committee, “nor is there evidence of his participation in the decision making proceedings of the said Committee, leading to the award of the Contract for the purchase of 100 Buses.” This means that Logus Koroma was not involved in any wrongdoing in the matter of the procurement of the buses.
This good news will no doubt stir the minister to continue the fascinating work he has been doing at the Ministry of Transport and Aviation, including the negotiations for the construction of the flagship Mammamah International Airport
3 GLOUCESTER STREET
SIERRA LEONE, WEST AFRICA
Date: 8THDecember 2015
ACC CONCLUDES INVESTIGATIONS INTO ALLEGATIONS OF PROCUREMENT VIOLATIONS IN THE PURCHASE OF THE 100 BUSES
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) wishes to inform the general public thatit has concluded an in-depth and exhaustive investigation into allegations of procurement violations, dealing with, and bordering on,failure to comply with applicable procedures and guidelines relating to the tendering of the contract for the 100 buses,contrary to Section 48 of the Anti-Corruption Act 2008.
It could be recalled that,the ACC had lauded the heightened public response and vigilance, consequent upon the “citizen’s audit”, in respect of the procurement of the 100 Buses by the Ministry of Transport and Aviation (MTA).
Upon review of the totality of the evidence before the Commission,our findings reveal failure on the part of the Procurement Committee of the MTA, to adhere to laid down procedures of procurement as stipulated by the National Public Procurement Act, 2004.The Minister of MTA, however, is not a Member of the Procurement Committee, nor is there evidence of his participation in the decision making proceedings of the said Committee, leading to the award of the Contract for the purchase of 100 Buses.
It is the considered opinion of the Commission that Members of the Procurement Committee did not actwillfully or negligently, as required in law. The legal authorizations occasioning approvals, such as ‘no legal objection from the Office of the Solicitor-General’to the contract documentation, negate the favorable exercise of prosecutorial discretion.
Furthermore, Members of the Procurement Committee,interpreted the Executive Clearance as a certificate to proceed notwithstanding. That in itself, while seriously erroneous,will not meet the threshold for criminal prosecutions under the Anti-Corruption Act 2008.
However, the Commission draws the attentionofofficers of the Public Service to note the provisions of Section 40(4) and Section 118 of the Constitution of Sierra Leone, dealing with authorization of any expenditure out of the Consolidated Fund or any other fund of Sierra Leone in the execution of contracts.
The general public is assured that the fight against corruption is key to good governance and the ACC remains unrelenting in that endeavor.
DIRECTOR, PUBLIC EDUCATION AND OUTREACHDEPARTM