As a way of addressing key corruption issues in Ministries, Departments, and Agencies, the North-West regional Office of the Anti-corruption Commission (ACC) on 17th July 2020 took messages of integrity to the District Health Management Team and DICOVERC in Kambia.
The meeting was part of the commission’s public education drive to prevent incidences of corruption across all sectors of governance.
Addressing staff of the various institutions, the Regional Manager Al-Hassan Sesay said the ACC recognizes the importance of health workers to the survival of the state and underscored the primacy of integrity in the discharge of their work and to ensure best practices are enhanced at all levels. He encouraged the management of both institutions to internalize the fight against corruption by putting in place control mechanisms that will mitigate the risk of corruption and taking necessary steps to transparency and accountability.
Explaining key highlights of the national corruption perception survey report, he pointed out that the health sector was placed as the second most corrupt sector and by extension a pointer for more effort to lower the effects of corruption in the sector.
With the 2019 amendment Act of the ACC, he said, the commission has now been empowered to cancel all contract deemed not to be in the interest of the public or a section thereof, narrowed the asset declaration regime, trial in absentia, restitution and jail terms and fines increased to five years and fifty million Leone respectively.
On the operations of DICOVERC, he informed them that the ACC has launched the COVID response transparency task force to instill integrity into management and utilization of funds pertaining to the Corona fight. “Be mindful of the ACC laws and 2006 Budget Accountability Act as the commission will not wait until the end of Corona before it starts asking questions,” he emphasized. He explained related corruption offenses including misappropriation of public funds and property, offering, soliciting and accepting advantage, abuse of office and position, corrupt acquisition of wealth among other things.
In his welcome address, the District Medical Officer Joseph Sylvanus Bangura described the meeting as a guiding tool and to ensure the maximization of health service delivery. He said the ACC as an institution works for the interest of the public and called on the team to help them in putting systems and processes that will enhance best practices.
The District Coordinator for DICOVERC Mohamed Mustapha Dumbuya also expressed similar sentiments and expressed thanks to ACC team for the sensitization.
Public Education Officer Mohamed Thullah who spoke on the role of senior management in the fight against corruption accentuated the significance of maintaining ethical standards and high sense of integrity with a meaningful demonstration of supporting and resisting demands of corruption. He highlighted various methods of reporting corruption and underscored the central role reporting corruption occupies in combating same.
In his vote of thanks, Dr. Richmonda Pearce thanked the team and described the session as educative. She said the sector taking a second position as the most corrupt sector in the corruption perception survey calls for senior management to take necessary actions to combat corruption in their various facilities. Presentation of IEC materials formed part of the engagements