In a bid to address key corruption issues at the Northern Polytechnic, the Anti-Corruption Commission has engaged all heads of departments.
At a meeting held at the Commission’s Regional Office in Makeni on Tuesday 2nd November 2010, Public Education Officer of ACC, Al-Hassan Sesay said the engagement was part of the Commission’s public education and preventive approach in the fight against corruption. He said as key stakeholders, the Commission decided to engage them to discuss key corruption issues and map out ways to address them.
|ACC's Public Education Officer addressing the gathering.
The Public Education Officer stressed that the Commission is not just bent on arresting and prosecuting corrupt individuals but also changing the corrupt behavior, opinion, attitude and thoughts of people.
Mr. Sesay emphasized that the ACC is not witch hunting any body or institution but intervening wherever there are possible loopholes for corruption. He therefore called on the administration of Northern Polytechnic to collaborate with the Commission in the fight against corruption.
The Acting Regional Manager Mr. Musa Jawara expressed concern over certain practices taking place at the institution that are possible loop holes for corruption. He brought to the notice of the administration and heads of departments some of these practices which he emphasized fall under the offences in the Anti-Corruption Act 2008. He reminded them that the punishment for such offences is a fine of not less than thirty (30) million Leones or imprisoned for not less thaN three (3) years or suffers both fine and prison term. Mr. Jawara therefore advised them to put modalities in place in order to address the issues.
Representing the Ministry of Education, Inspector of Schools, Bombali District, Mr. Michael S. Kanu gave an overview of the Education Policy and lamented on extra charges which bear huge financial burden on students. He said the meeting serves as a warning to heads of the various departments and the administration to go back and put their house in order.
Speaking on behalf of the administration, the Registrar, Mr. M.H.S Bangura denied knowledge of most of the issues raised but assured the Commission of their determination and cooperation in joining the fight against Corruption. He used the occasion to highlight the numerous constraints faced by the institution and called on the ACC to bring them to the notice of the government for them to be addressed.
At the end of the meeting, the following resolutions were made:
1. That there should be frequent engagement between the ACC, Ministry of Education and Northern Polytechnic
2. That all pamphlets should be vetted and approved by the Administration and Ministry of Education before being sold to students
3. That no assignment should be attached to a pamphlet
4. That students should not be forced to buy pamphlets
5. That the Disciplinary Committee should liaise with the Ministry of Education and the Anti-Corruption Commission to bring to notice corruption issues and actions taken.
6. That government’s subventions to the college should be paid monthly or at the beginning of every quarter.