A Survey Report has indicated that government is making headway in the fight against corruption by showing strong commitment in tackling petty and grand corruption, including bribery. According to the National Corruption Survey Report 2013 (NCSR), 83% of the respondents surveyed said government is breaking grounds and has placed unprecedented political will and huge financial support in the fight against corruption.
The NCPSR Government rating is relatively high as compared to a study conducted by Transparency International TI in 2013, which rated its commitment at 51%. These figures point to a marked departure from the tenuous attention to a more robust focus the fight against graft has received in the last five years.
This is due to the collaboration of Government institutions Audit Service Sierra Leone, Sierra Leone Police, National Public Procurement Authority and non-government institutions including the media, civil society organizations and local and international NGOs that have pooled resources, shared information, and coordinated actions in tackling the bane.
Similarly, 80% of the respondents surveyed in the National Corruption Perception Survey Report indicate that the Anti-Corruption Commission is effective in the fight against corruption. This can be attributed to the increased conviction rate the Commission has received in the last three years and the heightened public education and awareness campaigns across the country. The effectiveness of the Commission is further strengthened by the views of majority of Sierra Leoneans (70%) who believe that reporting corruption has helped the fight.
On the other hand, the TI Report indicated that 85% of the respondents acknowledged knowing how and where to report corruption and 99% expressed willingness to join the fight. The level of awareness of people on corruption issues has increased markedly compared with an earlier study in 2010, which recorded 58.1% who confirmed knowing how and where to report corruption.
The 99% of respondents who expressed willingness to support the Commission in the fight against corruption are part of those patriotic Sierra Leoneans working determinedly to eradicate corruption from Sierra Leone. The fruit of their labour may not be enjoyed by these respondents but by their children and grand-children. What they are doing at this point, not excluding their fight to eliminate Ebola, is casting a pavement for all Sierra Leoneans to benefit from the Millennium Challenge Corporation grant (MCC), including other assistance from the international community.
BY ALIMAMY LAHAI KAMARA
Wednesday September 10, 2014