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NOTICES & DOCUMENTS  

Press Statement Commission Of Inquiry
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Oct 21, 2008, 17:00
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PRESS STATEMENT
COMMISSION OF INQUIRY

1.The Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP), architect of peace, good governance and democracy, welcomes the efforts of the Government to continue the fight against corruption. In particular, the Party welcomes the
enactment of the amended Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Act (2008).
2. It would be recalled that the SLPP administration established the Anti-Corruption Commission in 2000 with a view to promoting transparency and accountability. Additionally, the SLPP administration formulated policies and enacted laws that guide the management of budgetary resources including the National Public Procurement Act (2004), Government Budgeting and Accountability Act (2005), Audit Service Act (2006) and Financial Management Regulations Act (2007).
3. Financial management and procurement rules are defined for all donor funded projects. Public accounts and those of donor funded projects are audited annually and submitted to Parliament and the donors. Also, there is the Public Accounts Committee in Parliament that provides oversight on the utilization on public resources. Furthermore, all donors are represented by their officials in Sierra Leone. These officials are responsible for supervising and in most cases managing the funds they provide. For example, there is a World Bank Country Office in Sierra Leone for supervising World Bank funded projects. Likewise, the European Union Office manages and supervises EU funds, DFID Office in Sierra Leone manages and supervises funds provided by the UK Government, USAID manages funds from the USA, JICA manages funds from Japan and GTZ manages funds provided by the German Government. In addition, most UN Agencies have offices in Sierra Leone and these manage resources channeled through the UN.

4. Following the announcement of results for the 2007 Presidential Run-off election in September 2007, the then outgoing Ministers of the SLPP administration prepared comprehensive handling over reports for their successors. The new Government set up a Transition Team to take stock of government’s activities and assets. The Team prepared a report and presented it to the President. The President then announced publicly in December, 2007 that instead of setting up expensive Commissions of Inquiry which may imply a witch-hunt, the Transition Teams Report would be handed over to the ACC for further action. After months with the ACC, the Chairman stated that the report did not constitute a sufficient basis for further action by the ACC. a Leone People’s Party (SLPP), architect of peace, good governance and democracy, welcomes the efforts of the Government to continue the fight against corruption. In particular, the Party welcomes the enactment of the amended Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Act (2008).:
5. Twelve (12) months later, the Government has now deemed it fit to establish a Commission of Inquiry. The mandate of the Commission is to inquire

· into any irregularities or malpractices in the expenditure of government and donor funds;
· whether or not any malpractices or irregularities were committed by any person with respect to those funds;
· the nature and extent of the malpractices and irregularities; and
· the sums of money and identities of persons involved in such malpractices and irregularities and to make recommendations.

5. In the light of the above, the SLPP strongly believes that the setting up of this Commission is nothing short of a witch-hunt, intimidation and an attempt to muzzle the Opposition. It is a recipe for widening the national divide along partisan lines. It is in conflict with the President’s public pronouncement of reconciliation and further deepens the mistrust created since the inception of this Government. The Party is concerned that the intent of this Commission is political and is in no way aimed at promoting accountability in managing public funds.
6. Additionally, the mandate of the Commission is vague and open-ended and is obviously a deliberate attempt by the President and the APC to silence the SLPP and undermine the effectiveness of the Opposition.
7. Finally, the Party wishes to assure its membership and the Public, that the SLPP will never succumb to any act of intimidation from any quarter. The Party calls on its members to be steadfast in their support for the Party.

One Country One People

Signed by:
Jacob Jusu Saffa
National Secretary-General


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