In his welcome statement ACC Regional Manager, North, Abu Bakarr Kamara said their presence in the meeting is crucial as it provides a forum to discuss issues aimed at addressing systemic corruption. Manager Kamara stated that the National Anti-Corruption Strategy (NACS) requires MDAs to set up Integrity Management Committees (IMCs) to lead the implementation process. The Manager told his audience that the Commission prides itself in the prevention of corruption offences, among others, as it seeks to improve service delivery. He urged them to show more commitment in fighting corruption as it stands out as the main impediment to the county’s socio-economic development.
The National Anti-Corruption Coordinating Strategy Manager, Patrick George described NACS as the national blueprint of the country's fight against corruption. Manager George noted that, since the IMCs were constituted some years ago they seem not to have been functioning accordingly. The NACs Manager emphasized that MDAs should now endeavor to fix bribery prone areas within their institutions instead of waiting for the ACC to intervene. He dilated on the last monitoring report, noting, the outcome is unsatisfactory as a good number of MDAs failed to implement the actions that are in the NACS implementation matrix.
Manager George catalogued anti-corruption measures that should be mainstreamed within their operations such as: transparent recruitment processes, developing robust human resources policies, operationalizing service delivery charters, introduce conflict of interest rules, enforce asset declaration regime, implement the integrity pact to guide procurement and develop and maintain a gift register and strengthen internal audit systems. He encouraged them to imbibe the values of integrity as the action of any staff will impact negatively on the image of the institution.
ACC Public Education Officer, Abdulai Saccoh said, the rationale for establishing IMCs is to institute potent internal control measures aimed at reducing the opportunities for corruption in public offices. Saccoh noted that it is imperative on IMCs to ensure that actions in the matrix are fully implemented. He disclosed that IMCs in Bombali District have not done much in terms of implementing the NACS. He acknowledged the challenges faced by MDAs but noted that with commitment they would be overcome. Saccoh expressed his dissatisfaction over the attitude of some public officials who have accepted bribery and corrupt practices as a way of life.
The plenary session formed the high point of the engagement.