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The National Anti-Corruption Strategy (NACS) Secretariat of the Anti-Corruption Commission on Friday 20th July, 2012 concluded a one day training of civil society monitors on the implementation of the Revised National Anti-Corruption Strategy 2011- 2013.The training took place at the Conference Hall of the Commission’s Eastern Regional Office, Off Maxwell Khobe Street Government Reservations, Kenema.
Delivering her opening and welcome address during the training, ACC’s Regional Manager East, Evelyn Samuella Walker emphasized the need for a strong and sustained partnership between the ACC, the civil society, the press and the general public. She said that even though the ACC is making conscious effort to address corruption in the country it will not succeed without the full support these stakeholders adding that corruption poses a serious threat to the nation’s development. She appealed to all to support the Commission to eradicate corruption
Explaining the rationale for the training, the Regional Manager said that the training is not only meant to build the capacity of monitors but also to improve their understanding of the Revised National Anti Corruption Strategy and to help mainstream ethics and integrity in the monitoring process.
As they embark on the monitoring exercise in the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to assess the level at which they have implemented the Action Plans contained in the Strategy, they will face challenges. She admonished them to carry out their functions with courage regardless of the challenges.
In his presentation, the Director of NACS at the ACC, Mr. Nabillahi Musa Kamara underscored the need for the active participation of civil society in modern day governance so as to esure that those issues and structures that facilitate good governance are given due attention. He maintained that the strategy makes the provision for Civil Society to monitor the implementation process. Mr. Kamara outlined content of the training package. He stressed the need for monitors to take note of and observe the ethical and moral issues of integrity and confidentiality that might affect the credibility of the monitoring exercise. He clearly spelt out their functions and briefly explained the background to the strategy and how they as civil society organizations fit in.
The Director emphasized the need for an independent voice in the implementation of the Strategy, which is why the Commission is training Civil Society Monitoring Groups (CSMGs) to do the monitoring. Mr. Kamara implored all monitors to adhere to the stipulated code of conduct for monitors.
Mr. Samuel Marah, Monitoring and Compliance Officer ACC, Dilated on basic monitoring tools. He gave a comprehensive explanation of what monitoring is and the various methods of monitoring. Mr. Marah encouraged the monitors to be very objective and observe the observation matrix and reporting structure taught. He admonished them to make their report reader friendly by avoiding unnecessary details that will make the report boring to read.
The training climaxed with a plenary session where monitors shared the experiences, and challenges encountered during previous monitoring exercises and suggested the way forward to addressing these challenges.
In his vote of thanks, the Regional Coordinator for the Civil Society Monitoring Group East, Mr. Philip Bob Lebbie expressed appreciation to staff of the Commission for conducting the training and lauded the sacrifices staff of the Commission is making to ensure that corruption is eradicated and service delivery becomes effective and efficient. He highlighted some of the challenges they face and urged Commission to ensure that MDAs give their fullest cooperation to the monitors, when the exercise starts.
By Peter Baio Kamara, ACC, Eastern Region
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