He drew the attention of the participants to the public education and preventive drives of the Commission, which he said is often disregarded by the public. The Commissioner made reference to the actions being taken by public institutions in addressing issues of corruption in the workplace. “We achieve a lot more as a nation when we tackle the weaknesses in public institutions that encourage the commission of corrupt acts,” he noted. He made reference to state institutions that have taken administrative actions-including dismissals and demotion- against staff following investigations by the ACC.
Presenting on anti-corruption legal instruments and offences, the ACC Commissioner explains the major provisions of the Anti-Corruption Act 2008 and the obligations of public officers and institutions to work with the ACC at any material time, adding that there are penalties for any failure in that regard. He spoke on the some of the common offences including soliciting and accepting an advantage, impeding investment, failure to declare assets, abuse of office or position and misappropriation of public or donor funds.
Presenting on ‘The role of partners in the fight against corruption,’ the Deputy Director of Public Education and Outreach at ACC, Patrick Sandi, spoke on the object of the partnership, which he said, is to enhance transparency and accountability in the governance of Sierra Leone. He said such partnership could include information sharing on corruption-related issues, reporting and making referrals to the ACC of individuals suspected of committing acts of corruption and sometimes serving as anti-corruption ambassadors by correcting some of the wrong perceptions people hold about the Commission.
Earlier, the Director of Public Education and Outreach who doubled as Chairperson of the event, Madam Koloneh Sankoh, whilst welcoming the participants, said the Commission takes partnership with other institutions very seriously. She made reference to the National Anti-Corruption Strategy 2014-2018 which makes room for public, private and civil society organisations to take ownership of the fight against corruption.