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In an effort to continue the spate of public education campaigns by the ACC the Eastern Regional Office of the ACC in Kenema on Wednesday 18th April 2012 held a well attended customized meeting with the Kenema branch of NASSIT. (Photo: ACCs Patrick M George making his Presentation)
The aim was to garner the much needed support of especially pillars of integrity and the public and educating them on corruption related issues, the
In his opening statement, the ACC Focal Person at NASSIT Mr. Mohamed B.M Kamara who chaired the meeting expressed delight on behalf of NASSIT over the move by the ACC, which he termed appropriate as the support of all is critical to the success in the national fight against graft. Mr Kamara requested all present to make the best out of the opportunity presented them.
The Kenema District Coordinating Officer of the ACC, Mohamed Sylvanus Blake in declaring the purpose of the meeting underscored the importance of such meetings, stating that the ACC is providing leadership in the fight against corruption and therefore desires the unwavering support of all Pillars of Integrity like NASSIT. He explained that such meetings are meant to educate and guide public officers on corruption issues, garner their support and encourage them to report all suspected instances of corruption.
He added that in an attempt to ensure the successful implementation of the revised Anti Corruption Strategy, the ACC has appointed Focal Persons in all MDAs, to serve as liaisons between the ACC and their respective institutions. They are also to ensure that key corruption issues identified in the strategy and actions recommended to address these corruption issues are implemented. He encouraged all public officers to recognise all Focal Persons as colleagues and not staff of the ACC.
The Regional Public Education Officer East of the ACC, Peter Baio Kamara in his brief presentation gave the background to the establishment of the Commission and categorized the operations of the ACC into three; prevention, through systems and processes review of MDAs, public education and Confrontation of corruption. He encouraged all to break the culture of silence and report suspected corrupt practices to the ACC. He underscored the need for integrity in public life and encouraged NASSIT staff to declare their assets and liabilities as the asset declaration forms are now available.
The Legal Officer of the ACC East who doubles as Senior Investigations Officer, Mr. Patrick M. George in his presentation explained who a public officer was, the difference between public fund and public revenue. He said a person who works in an institution established by an act of parliament or an institution where government has not less than twenty five percent shares whether paid or unpaid is a public servant. He stated that the AC Act of 2008 makes it difficult for corrupt persons, private or public officers to go unpunished once they are successfully prosecuted irrespective of their status in society. He admonished staff present to make proper use of public property under their custody as contained in the Best Practice Guide on the use of Government Property. He advised all to ensure that they work within stipulated government policies and regulations especially with regards to procurement and the use of public funds, resources and facilities like vehicles and office equipment.
The Legal Officer discussed a number of corrupt practices in the AC Act of 2008 and their corresponding penalties, stating that the Commission does not have sacred cows and that corruption at whatever scale is punishable by law. He encouraged all present to support the commission by giving timely and correct reports and most significantly, staying away from corruption.
In his statement, the Regional Manager of NASSIT East, Mr. Bai Emmanuel Tarawally, on behalf of his establishment thanked the ACC for the sensitization exercise which he described as very educative. He said that sensitization will serve as a reminder to all staff to be mindful of how they deal with resources and the public they are meant to serve. He pledged to cooperate and support the Commission’s drive to fight corruption in this nation and encouraged all present to take the message seriously in the national interest.
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