Freetown, SIERRA LEONE – The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has issued a strong warning to public officials, cautioning them against the misuse of government-assigned property. In a press statement, the ACC emphasized the importance of adhering to regulations governing the use of public assets.
According to the ACC’s interpretation section of the Act, public property, including vehicles, houses, computers, etc., is defined as property belonging to the government, the people of Sierra Leone, local authorities, government companies, or any commission or committee established by the Constitution or under any law.
The ACC stressed that the use of government property must align with the “best practice guide on the use of government vehicles, government quarters, telephones, computers, and other office equipment” developed by the Commission. The guide provides specific directives, such as the use of government vehicles exclusively for official business, with personal use considered a violation unless approved in writing by the Head of Department or Deputy.
Public officials were reminded of Section 48 (1) of the Anti-Corruption Act, 2008, as amended in 2019, which protects public property. This section states that anyone who fraudulently or illegally damages public property commits an offense. The consequences for conviction include a minimum fine of Fifty Million Leones (Le50,000,000) or imprisonment of not less than five years or both.
The ACC emphasized that failure to comply with established procedures would prompt the Commission to invoke the relevant provisions of the Act, signalling its commitment to ensuring accountability and responsible use of government resources. MJB/19/11/2023