The Sierra Leone Web


10 AUGUST 2006

I am pleased to receive again another Annual Report from the Anti Corruption Commission institution, although this time, it is from the Anti Corruption Advisory Committee, covering the period January 2004 - 30 September 2005. Let me congratulate you, Mr Chairman and the other members of your Committee for the efforts put in the preparation of this impressive Report.

We have looked at the several activities undertaken during the period under review and must admit that you have covered a fair amount of ground in the Committee's mandate. There is evident success in the limited areas that you were allowed to get involved in, which indicates to me that if you had a free reign in your assignment, perhaps your success would have been much greater. Despite this obvious constraint, I am impressed by the persistence of the Committee to pursue its mandate to the best of its ability, given the then prevailing circumstances.

As I said only last week while accepting the 2004 Annual Report of the Anti Corruption Commission, this Advisory Committee is made up of a highly respected and committed cadre of individuals representing a wide range of people from our midst, who have shown rugged determination to contribute effectively to the struggle against corruption in our country. In this connection let me restate that the DFID Consultant who designed our Anti Corruption Commission and also helped to establish the Hong Kong and Botswana Anti Corruption Commissions stressed the critical role of civil society and the community at large in fighting corruption. It is therefore with regret that I, the driving force behind both the Anti Corruption Commission and its Advisory Committee, note the apparent erosion of the Committee's authority and the attempt to marginalize its members within the Anti Corruption Commission institution in the not too-distant past. I would therefore like to restate that the Anti Corruption Commission Committee was created as an integral part of the Anti Corruption Commission institution and its mandate specifically requires it to assist the Anti-Corruption Commission in several advisory functions. In short, on a de facto basis, the Committee should be the first line of contact in the event of difficulty in the Anti Corruption Commission.

Mr. Chairman of the Advisory Committee, your specific concerns have been brought to my attention and I want to assure you and your esteemed colleagues, that I will soon take steps to address these concerns. Indeed there is need to add further clarity to your role including specifying your conditions of service. Steps will also be taken to ensure the Committee has its full complement of seven members.

The Anti Corruption Commission it is agreed by all has entered a new and more proactive phase. Its leadership has been enjoined to make full use of the talents, capabilities and commitment of the Committee members in the execution of the Commission's work. I am confident that this will be done in an atmosphere of trust, respect and appreciation that will enhance the work of the Anti-Corruption Commission.

Finally Mr Chairman and Committee members, let me congratulate you for your achievements under a rather difficult working environment. I urge you not to be influenced by your past experience but to look forward to the brighter promise of better cooperation with the new leadership of the Anti Corruption Commission. I am confident that the Committee will bring its best endeavours to the work of the Anti-Corruption Commission so that together we can make Sierra Leone a best practice paradyn in waging a successful war against corruption.

It is now my pleasure to accept the Second Annual Report of the Anti Corruption Commission Advisory Committee, covering the period 1 January 2004 to 30 September 2005.

I thank you.