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DFID cuts down support to Anti Corruption Commission in Sierra Leone

Not that the  kitty of the UK based non-governmental organization has been dried up, but it would appear that more stringent financial discipline has been observed to safe guard and protect the scare financial resources of the organization. Financial support from the Department for International Development (Dfid) to various Government Ministries and Departments for substantial period of time now has  been handy and done at a time when the government and people of Sierra Leone needed it most from its overseas partners. This time round, trends seem to have taken a new dimension especially with scarce resources reportedly in the kitty of Dfid. Streamlining of funds and the adoption of scale of preference in   addressing more relevant and critical needs has changed the focus of the organization, thus transforming the expenditure pattern of institutions that used to benefit from the financial gesture of Dfid.

HE the President, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma, and Commissioner Joseph F. Kamara seated while a member of the Advisory Board and Directors of the ACC stands at the rear

The Anti Corruption Commission (ACC), is among the local institutions that has been receiving huge financial support from Dfid over the years to fast tract the fight against corruption. The “top up” from Dfid in addition to the government subvention to the Anti Corruption Commission has significantly improved the operations of the Commission, creating success stories that have put the
Commission on the spotlights both locally and internationally. During the administration of former Commissioner Abdul Tejan Cole the Department for International Development (Dfid) reportedly dished out the sum of Two Million Pound Sterling, which was utilized by the administration and the residue used by the current Joseph F. Kamara’s administration up to 30th August, 2011 when it  went dry.

Turning to Dfid for its usual financial support this time round has left the ACC in a state of shock and perplex as the work of the current administration has proved less attractive and unproductive. Dfid in a show of dissatisfaction with the quality of work of the current administration, coupled with the scare financial resources in its coffer is now refusing to spend its money in a bottomless pit.

In a very professional manner, Dfid has come out to say that due to the unavailability of funds, and in consideration of its commitment to national development; this time it would not be like the past when the sum of Two Million Pound Sterling was sliced from its kitty and dished out to the former administration, but  ould however, as part of its corporate responsibility released the sum of Four
Hundred and Eighty Pound Sterling to be used for four operational years effective September 2011.

This amount
is not a loan to the ACC, but as part of Dfid’s financial contribution towards
the fight against corruption that should be utilized. It would be recalled that
of- late the Joseph Kamara administration has been engaged in conducting
workshops as part of its prevention strategy and charging petty crime offenders
to court, and giving leverages to high profile corruption offences.

Since he
took up office to date, Commissioner Kamara has spent more time in traveling
overseas than working in his office and whether those oversea travels are
earning him more per diem than what he is making back home is yet to be
explained. Inside sources are raising concerns about his trip to China some
months back, that was not made clear to them “What did he go to do in China”? A
senior investigator at the Commission asked, but received no response from any
of the senior officials.

Some of the
workers at the Commission are claiming that the style of Commissioner Kamara in
his fight against corruption is selective and mono-focal, painting pictures of
a corrupt system in governance. The decision of Dfid that bothers on scare
resources and its commitment to institutional capacity building and national
development has been accept on the surface. The negative result of insufficient
funds that may face the ACC’s operation in the near future in relation to
payments of prosecutors on contract and the conduct of more workshops are some
of the issues that are weighing the minds of some employees, which they have
envisaged  as not good for the fight.

 

 

 

 

PRESS
RELEASE AC C PRESENTS STRATEGIC INSTRUMENTS AND A CHEQUE OF OVER LE.800 MILLION
TO GOVERNMENT

The
Anti-Corruption Commission wishes to inform the general public that it has on
Thursday 20th October 2011 presented to His Excellency the
President, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma, its revised National Anti-Corruption Strategy
and Strategic Plan for 2011-2013 at
State House in Freetown. A cheque of Le.867,906,000 (Eight Hundred and
Sixty Seven Million, Nine Hundred and Six Thousand Leones) was also presented
as part of monies recovered from corrupt individuals this year.

Presenting
the instruments and cheque to the President, the Commissioner, Joseph F.
Kamara, thanked the President for his zero tolerance for corruption and
expressed gratitude for giving the Commission a freehand in the discharge of
its mandate. On the issue of ratings, the Commissioner disclosed that the
Transparency International’s (TI) Global Corruption Barometer indicates that 53
percent of Sierra Leoneans believe that the government’s efforts in the fight
against corruption are effective. Over the past two years, the Commissioner
added, Sierra Leone moved 12 places upward on the TI Corruption Index. The Commission
has also been awarded the prestigious Integrity Award by the World Bank for its
determination and relentless efforts in the fight against corruption in Africa.

Responding,
the President praised the Commission for the hard work and continued determination
to improve transparency and accountability in governance adding that he is very
pleased with the progress the Commission has made and called on the Commission
to continue to follow the evidence in its pursuit of those who are still bent
on perpetuating corruption. The President further stated that ‘’no one should
go scot free’’ in our efforts to rid this country of corruption and enhance
effective service delivery. The Commissioner was accompanied by a member of the
Advisory Board and directors of the Anti-Corruption Commission.

Sign;

Shollay Davies

Director, Public Education and External
Outreach

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