LEAKS AT STATE HOUSE …Thomas betrayedJune 6, 2016
When Mr. Claudious Malama Thomas received his first telephone call on the morning of 19th April, 20016 he never thought that the caller was going to give him the news that would spoil his day, until when he disclosed to him that a confidential document he sent to State House, for the attention of President Ernest Bai Koroma has been published in the SLPP Newspaper called UNITY, with the maxim One Country, One People.
He couldn,t believe the caller, and had to search his mind to recall when was the last time he sent a confidential report to President Koroma about Statistics Sierra Leone, by then the institution was in earnest preparation for the Census and noticing the flaws that may engulfed the process, he decided as a patriot to alert the President for the necessary action to be taken.
If Mr. Claudius Malamah Thomas had known that his patriotic initiative would have boomeranged and subsequently led to his exit, he would not have gone the miles he took for sanity to be restored. It would appear that he is still been hunted for his initiatives and patriotic concerns to avert what is now been criticized by not only the Opposition Party but other groups of Sierra Leoneans that the Census result for the Western area among others is flawed and fake. So when the caller informed him about the confidential letter to the President that has been published, he refused to accept the message until when he secured a copy and discovered that the information he sent is flying around and marketed by the Opposition Newspaper. Thus, he was left with no option but to write to the medium that published the document to dissociate himself from the leaks.
Many a time, information channeled to the seat of power finds its way to the General Public, even when it is not meant for public consumption and several questions keep flowing as to how and why some of these pieces of information find their way to the public market.
Mr. Claudius Malamah Thomas will not in his life time continue to play the role he played as a patriotic Sierra Leonean by sending confidential report to the President in future for fear that it would leak out to the public, which would have the potential of threatening his security and his family.
Pondering over the betrayal and the mole that may have leaked the confidential report to the Opposition Newspaper to make him appear as a traitor, he took his pen and wrote on the 22rd April, 2016 “ I write with shock and displeasure after it was rudely brought to my attention that a very confidential and official letter written by me to His Excellency the President, Dr Ernest Bai Koroma, dated 5th August 2014, was published in your newspaper.
Let it be known, that I am in no way associated with the publication, for which I had absolutely no prior knowledge. Such an act will be totally out of my character, as I am not given to subterfuge.
Kindly find space to publish this negation in your newspaper as soon as possible. I am also taking the liberty of seeking any publishing house that may favour my disclaimer and condemn the aberration and slur on my character, to publish it” (See letter)
H.E. The President
Re: The Governance and Development of Statistics Sierra Leone
Kindly permit me to duly inform you about the governance of Statistics Sierra Leone (SSL) and the pending implacable situation prevailing at this time.
- In September 2013, you appointed an Interim Committee to review a very scathing report by a DFID consultant by the name of Dr. Michael Pepper
- This interim Committee was given a mandate to restructure the bureaucratic structure of the Institution (SSL) and implement the findings with an Implementation Plan. This meant, in effect, replacing senior management except for only one staff member, who was thought to be the only qualified staff
- At one point in time, the Interim Committee approached the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development to write a strong letter to the Statistician-General to desist from usurping the authority of the Statistics Council which was not yet in place at the time. This was duly effected.
- In March 2014, following Parliamentary approval the current Statistics Council was sworn in and immediately faced a resistance to change by the Statistician-General and Senior Managers who had read the Interim Committee Report and knew the objectives of implementation of the Interim Committee’s findings
- Your Excellency, in accordance with The Statistics Act 2002 and The Census Act 2002, the Statistics Council was at the apex of governance and supervises the work of the Statistician-General as Chief Executive.
- As part of the Council’s legal mandate under Section 3 and Section 9 (2) of The Statistics Act 2002, the Council was also required to do due diligence before setting down with the Census. The Census process was itself faced with two major challenges. These were the existing funding gap and the lapses in the Mapping Exercise which were determined from the Council’s monitoring of the Pilot Census Survey in April/May 2014.
- The most crucial matters, however, were that the Statistician-General was flouting the procurement rules (especially for procurement) and the application of their own. “Terms and Conditions of Service for Staff Members”. When, by Council’s resolutions, the Statistician-General was instructed to restitute clearly very bad decisions which demoralized the general staff, he blatantly refused. He was equally culpable with the Human Resources Manager/Acting Administrative Manager, who sadly displayed a very unbelievable level of incompetence.
- The final issue was very fundamental to the well-being of the institution itself. The Finance Manager, upon enquiry, was officially reported by the National Revenue Authority (NRA) to have been dismissed from that institution for misappropriation of its funds. Up till this moment of writing, he has not provided the Census accounts to Council despite numerous reminders. As a result, Council was in the process of formally requesting that these three (3) persons (i.e. the Statistician-General, the Human Resources/Acting Administrative Manager and the Finance Manager) be removed from office.
- E., the implications for continuing with this corrupt and inept management at SSL is that the Donors (especially DFID) have refused to give money to this current management of SSL (see Dr. Michael Pepper’s Report). Statistics Sierra Leone has lost US$25 million in technical assistance and institutional reforms from DFID, and, also, US$2.4 million funding assistance to meet the funding gap for the Census. This, I believe as an unnecessary imposition on the GoSL budget.
- Following the meeting with the Council chaired by the Chief of Staff, Mr. Conton Sesay, and convened by the NPAC Chairman, Professor V.E. Strasser-King on the 29th of July, 2014, documentary evidence was adduced to corroborate the assertions made in this letter, which I believe would be shown to you.
- During this process, rumors were rife that the Chairman and Council who had gained Parliamentary approval and duly appointed to office for a three-year term were to be replaced. This was shocking to the entire Council, more so, because parliamentary authorities had recently convened a meeting to admonish the SSL Management of the Council’s oversight responsibilities in Parliamentary authorities were well aware that the SSL Management was insubordinate, ab initio.
- E., for the aforementioned reasons, I plead with you to give me audience on this matter, so that you may be fully briefed that this is a legally constituted Council, that had endeavoured only to do the right thing. Therefore, H.E. this Council does not understand why Hon. Foday B. L. Mansaray is more supportive of the SSL Management instead of the Council which is providing a good sense of direction for the institution. Mr. Foday B.L. Mansaray still continues to inhibit the Council’s authority. To that end the Deputy Speaker asked for a meeting with him, through the Development Secretary, to advise him accordingly.
- Finally, let me assure you my President that you have a very experienced…
Always at your service.
Claudius (Malamah) Thomas
Chairman, SSL Council
- The Honourable Speaker of Parliament
- Honourable Dr. Kaifala Marrah, Minister of Finance
- E.B. Osho Coker, Secretary to the President
- Saidu Conton Sesay, Chief of Staff, Office of the President
- Professor V.E. Strasser-King, Chairman NPAC