Addressing personnel at their Mena Hill Office, Makeni, ACC Regional Manager North Abu Bakarr Kamara dilated on the status of the Pay No Bribe campaign. The Manager admonished his audience that PNB is a strategic approach aim at ensuring that systems of MDAs become effective and efficient. He informed personnel of the Correctional Centre that reports generated from the PNB portal so far indicate some progress and commitment on the part of the ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) to join forces with other partners to combat this scourge. The Manager emphasized that the campaign is not to make MDAs look bad but rather to provide them with empirical information on the prevalence of bribery in their institutions. He catalogued areas of concerns highlighted in the PNB reports which require concrete actions to be taken by the ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs). He disclosed that PNB is not prosecutorial focus however, there are administrative sanctions which can be used to change the behavior of service providers.
In his statement, Public Education Officer Abdul K. Bangura gave an overview of the PNB noting citizens can only realize it benefits when they are willing to report bribery demands, resistance and meeting honest officials. Bangura admonished his audience that one of the major factors responsible for ineffective service delivery in public institutions is bribery and petty corruption. He called on personnel of the Makeni Correctional service to remain resolved in putting national interest above all else.
Highlighting the causes and effects of bribe, ACC Public Education Officer Abdulai Saccoh underscored the significance of the engagement and described it as a dialogue forum to discuss PNB campaign. Saccoh stated that, though Correction Centre is not amongst the PNB targeted MDAs, the Commission deemed it relevant to interact with them to heighten their knowledge on the campaign due to the invaluable services they render to the country. The Public Education Officer highlighted some of the reasons why people demand for bribes; laziness, lack of integrity, breach of procedures, misuse of discretionary power, greed, and weak or absence of management systems.
He noted that the effects are counterproductive to the development aspiration of any country as it leads to decline in the standard of education, weak institutions, increase in crime rate, poor medical services, erosion of investor confidence, loss of revenue and poor infrastructural development.
Saccoh explained the PNB reporting mechanism through the use of the free phone line 515 on all networks, on mobile application in major languages and the website: www.pnb.gov.sl.
Questions and answers session formed part of the engagement.