Given the strategic nature of the airport to the image and economic development of the country, the Anti-Corruption Commission became very concerned at the incessant complaints that emanated from users of the services at the airport, particularly visitors.
In order to holistically and comprehensively address the problems, the ACC in late 2007 constituted a task force comprising members of the airport operating entities who contributed immensely to the drafting of “A Report on the vulnerabilities of the Freetown International Airport.”
The report was adopted by all the key stakeholders operating at the airport and was launched on 14th July, 2008. A couple of months later the ACC conducted an independent monitoring of the extent of the implementation of the recommendations contained in the report. But to its greatest dismay, the report had not been disseminated to most of the operatives working at the airport. To ensure that this vital information trickles down to those who implement the basics at the airport, the ACC organized a discussion forum at the airport on Wednesday 18th March 2009.
The Financial Comptroller, Mr. John Sesay, who deputized for the General Manager, lauded the cordial relationship that has existed between the Commission and the Sierra Leone Airports Authority, and said he was enthusiastic to see the transformation the Commission’s intervention would bring to the image and output of the Authority. He further expressed his desire to see all operating entities at the SLAA fully cooperate with the ACC.
On behalf of the Anti-Corruption Commission, the Deputy Commissioner, Mr. Morlai Buya Kamara said country.
When reacting to statements made and suggesting the way forward, airport stakeholders present suggested the following inter alia .
* the Commission to ensure whistle blowers protection as provided for in the Anticorruption act 2008
* the Commission engages key political figures to ensure mitigated political interference into the operations of the airport which has been key to solving the problems of the airport
*Government of Sierra Leone should play a lead role in providing requisite resource and equipment support that will uplift standards at the airport that will for instance, make walk way metal detectors and scanners work effectively.
* Reduce government agencies’ representatives at the airport, which is one key factor responsible for the overcrowding at the terminal buildings.
Before the meeting concluded all stakeholders present verbally committed themselves to the improvement of services to passengers at the airport; and the ACC committed itself to the invigoration of monitoring of activities at the SLAA.