In the ongoing FY2024 bilateral budget discussion, the Anti-Corruption Commission presented their proposals of activities and costs in the fight against corruption for FY2024, amounting to NLe96,708,848 of which NLe89,210,054 is expected from the Government of Sierra Leone and NLe7,498,794 from Donors partners.
This session was chaired by the Deputy Minister of Finance II, Bockarie Kalokoh, in the presence of other stakeholders like District Budget Oversight Committee members, Non-State Actors, and other Civil Society organisations on Tuesday 10th October 2023 at the main conference hall of the Ministry of Finance.
In his presentation, the Deputy Commissioner, Mr. Foday Ngobeh, gives an overview of the Commission, vision, mission and mandates of the institution.
He further highlighted the activities accomplished in 2022. In the first half of 2023, they conducted a system review of Road Maintenance Fund Administration, budgetary allocation and utilisation in the water sector, review of Milton Margai Technical University (MMTU), review of Free Quality Education Project Secretariat and review of SLAJ are all part of the systems and processes review achieved by the institution.
Deputy Commissioner Ngobeh further mentioned the critical deliverables for FY 2024, which include the Completion and launch of the final National Anti-Corruption Strategy 2024-2028, the completion of investigations of at least 50% of corruption cases that may be reported, prosecution of at least 50% of cases and also to consolidate and deepen public support and awareness in the fight against corruption through the empowerment of 120 Communities, 350 Radio Talk Shows, 800 Articles on knowledge about the ACC and 80 Television programs nationwide, 96% content verification of assets and liabilities of PEPs and FEPs, systems Review for at least three MDAs etc.
He further stated that the commission has successfully investigated cases such as the Fake Degrees investigations, subsidy investigation involving the sum of NLe88,000, Agro-chemical procurement investigation (MAFFS), Fake Licenses investigation (SLRSA), European Union support funds to Kambia District Council investigation, Donor coordinating office investigation and HIV test kits investigation (Ministry of Health investigation).
He also highlighted the high-profile cases investigated by the commission. These include a double dipping investigation involving the General Manager of SLRTC, a donation made to the sick Pikin Project by the Director General of NASSIT, and an investigation involving the Finance Officer of the Ministry of Agriculture, Bombali District, District and City Councils investigations, which led to the recovery of misappropriation funds and government properties.
He informed all that the newly constructed office space (Integrity House) of the commission was fully funded by the people of Sierra Leone and acknowledged that the commission had received an allocation for the first half of 2023, a total sum of NLe39,349,335 from both the government of Sierra Leone and other development partners.
He concludes that despite all the above stated as an achievement of the Commission, the institution has challenges such as regional office accommodation, inadequate allocation of Capital/Development, expenditure funds, inadequate vehicles, and Inadequate resources for staff capacity building.
After several questions and answers from the panel, the budget proposal was accepted to proceed to the next stage. Similarly, representatives from other agencies presented their budgets for FY2024 as the bilateral budget discussion continued.