MENA HILLS, MAKENI
SIERRA LEONE, WEST AFRICA
30th June 2015
ACC ENLIGHTENS BENEFICIARY COMMUNITIES IN THE NORTH ON GRIEVANCE REDRESS MECHANISM
In its determination to promote integrity and transparency in the implementation of the Social Safety Net (SSN) project, the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has on 22nd and 23rd June 2014 enlightened beneficiary communities in Magbaimba Ndorhahun and Tambahka Chiefdoms in Bombali district on how to seek redress once they feel aggrieved on the benefits due them under the project.
Speaking at the Kagbere and Samaya Court Barrys, the Deputy Director, Public Education and Outreach Department emphasized that the ACC was determined to ensure that there is transparency and accountability in the SSN project which is being funded by the World Bank and Unicef. He informed all present that the ACC was handling the grievance redress component of the project and encouraged them to report any suspected instances of corruption. The Deputy Director emphasized that the ACC is the lead agency in the fight against graft in the country and was determined to ensure sanity in the project implementation. He highlighted various corrupt practices taking place in rural communities and called on the people of Magbaimba Ndorhahun and Tambakha chiefdoms to stand against them. He further explained some of the offences in the AC Act 2008, such as misappropriation of public/ donor funds, offering, soliciting and accepting advantage, and receipt of gifts for corrupt purposes. Sandi assured the people of Magbaimba Ndorhahun and Tambakha chiefdoms that their grievances and reports will be treated with the utmost seriousness by the ACC.
Giving an overview of the Social Safety Net project, Head of Public Education Unit, Michael Sesay said it is a programme designed to alleviate poverty through the provision of direct cash transfer. As part of its responsibility in the project implementation, ACC provides oversight role in the whole exercise in order to prevent misuse of donor funds. Consequently, it monitors and receives complaints from the SSN beneficiaries and takes appropriate action. He explained the roles and responsibilities of the beneficiaries and cautioned them for a prudent use of the resources in order to transform their lives. Sesay warned against using the cash for things that will not add value to their current poverty status.
Public Education officer, David Kanekey Conteh explained to participants the reporting procedures at the ACC and the protection measures for informants or whistleblowers. He assured the beneficiary communities of their confidentiality at all times and protection from intimidation and victimization. Conteh however warned them against making false and malicious reports at it constitutes an offence in the AC Act 2008.
Earlier in his welcome address, Hon. Paramount Chief of Magbaimba Ndorhahun chiefdom, Kandeh Finnoh III expressed delight for the presence of ACC in his chiefdom to educate his subjects on the grievance redress structure in the SSN project. He thanked ACC for the outstanding gains made in the fight against corruption and assured all of his total support to the successful implementation of the project free of corruption and corrupt practices.
Paramount Chief of Tambakha Chiefdom, PC Kandeh Sorie Kakanday III whilst welcoming participants at the engagement noted that the Commission continues to make significant inroads in the fight against corruption. He expressed satisfaction in the work of the Commission and indicated his commitment to the elimination of corruption in the chiefdom especially in the SSN project. PC Kakanday III urged his subjects to report any suspected case of malpractice in the project to the ACC. But however lamented on the poor state of incomplete projects in Tambakha chiefdom and called on ACC to intervene and bring those responsible to book.
The meetings were chaired by ACC’s Senior Public Education Officer, Al-Hassan Sesay and climaxed by question and answer sessions.
FIGHTING CORRUPTION! A NATIONAL CONCERN