ACC commends EPASL for securing highest score in implementation of national anti-corruption strategy

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has commended the leadership and management of the Environment Protection Agency – Sierra Leone (EPASL) for what it calls a ‘significant compliance’ in the implementation of the National Anti-Corruption Strategy (NACS) in the country. This was communicated after a quarterly monitoring report that was conducted to ascertain the progress and level of compliance by Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in the implementation of the NACS action plan.

In a letter dated 2nd February 2022 and addressed to the Executive Chairman of the EPASL, the ACC Commissioner noted that based on the ‘‘compliance barometer tool used to determine the level of compliance of MDAs, using a score of 0-100, the Environment Protection Agency scored 85’% which falls within the significant compliance score’. The ACC further noted that as one of the six institutions to have attained this score, it represented a great leap for which the Commission acknowledged the effort of the Integrity Management Committee as well as management and staff of the Environment Protection Agency.

The current 2019-2023 NACS, is the fourth generation of NACS implemented in Sierra Leone under the auspices of the National Anti-Corruption Strategy Secretariat. The Strategy is primarily geared towards assessing the level of compliance in the implementation of action plans by MDAs and local councils. The 2019-2023 NACS is designed to point out two critical success factors, to wit, bench marking institutional specific action plans and corruption control measures within MDAs and Councils.

The EPASL’s internal Anti-Corruption Strategy aims to mainstream corruption prevention procedure and eradicate practices detrimental to the day-to-day operations of the Agency. The strategy was signed in March 2020 between the EPASL and the ACC to provide meaningful support to the ACC of Sierra Leone in the implementation of the fourth generation of the anti-corruption strategy (2019-2023). Its objective is to regularly track the operations of each department in the implementation of the standard operating procedures and provide regular assessments on compliance practices and enforcement procedures by members of staff of the Agency relative to the Anti-Corruption Commission Act, the National Public Procurement Act, the Finance Act and other related financial, administrative and procurement regulatory legislations in place in Sierra Leone.

It could be recalled that in 2020, the EPASL through the Compliance department developed the internal anti-corruption strategy and invited the ACC for inputs. Francis Ben Kaifala was impressed to have discovered that the EPASL was the only institution at that time that had carved an internal anti-corruption strategy from the national anti-corruption strategy in line with the ACC’s fight against corruption in the country.

This is not the first time the ACC Commissioner has commended the EPASL. During the signing ceremony in 2020, Francis Ben Kaifala said most times, as an anti-graft fighting body, they had to run after institutions to do the right thing but “what the EPASL is doing epitomizes what it means to own the fight against corruption in the country where they are inviting us to come and work with them on integrity issues at the Agency” adding that what the EPA-SL had done was extremely exemplary.

By Ishmael Kindama Dumbuya

 

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