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NEWS : Local News  

Sierra Leone News : Alhaji Alim Sesay (Awoko) takes Pro-active Measures to Secure Govt. Properties
By Bryan Randall
Jul 4, 2014, 17:04
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On Wednesday 3rd July 2014, at the Miatta Conference Hall, Youyi Building in Freetown, the National Assets and Government Property Commission organized a sensitization workshop on the 'approved format for recording of national assets'. The workshop aimed at raising awareness on effective asset management; asset register development for local councils and other agencies; monitoring of procurement procedures and proper disposal or refurbishment of depleted fixed assets; the level of compliance in maintaining up-to-date Asset Registers and presentation of format for recording National Assets and Government Properties.

A clearer understanding of the necessity for such data will capacitate MDAs, NGOs and Para- government institutions to become more responsible in handling national assets whereas government can avoid the current wastage of funds by MDAs which could have been utilized for more important purposes.

The workshop provided insight on relevant methods in reducing corruption and raised the appeal to agencies and the general public to treat all state properties with utmost protection and respect as if it was their personal property. Many examples of misuse of public property were highlighted.

Speaking on Inter-Ministerial Coordination, Commissioner Mohamed Sowa Turay said people should take cognizance of the contributions of other partners for proper synergy of efforts. He warned against politicization in the workplace (especially trivial issues like the paint of a public building when a particular political party is in governance). Mr. Turay noted that the real overriding objective of his presentation is that coordination is the vehicle used to speed up- motivation, diversity and ensure accountability, transparency, pro-activeness and guarantee that the value of time (which is man's most precious) is respected.

Alhaji Alim Sesay (Awoko) expressed delight in overcoming the challenges in his commission with the proactive approach he and his team are now taking to draw national attention to the sensitive issue of Government Property and Asset management for future generations.

He mentioned the issue of retired civil servants who have refused to leave government quarters even though they have built their own homes; the habit of occupants of these quarters to encroach on private property claiming it to be government land and thereafter build their own homes next to the quarters after they would have claimed it; he noted that we have over 5,000 civil servants who are entitled to government quarters but less than 300 presently occupy these public premises.

Alhaji Awoko proposed that all government vehicles should be clearly marked, all government buildings should have a visible flag pole, there must be a uniform colour for all government buildings and the buildings must all be insured and equipped with fire extinguishers, first aid kits and other safety equipment. 

Participants were also advised to emphasize on the enforcement of current laws like the ACC Act 2008, sections 36 & 37 relating to misuse of public property which also includes public funds; adopt international best practice and make NGOs, CSOs and other non- state actors receiving funds directly or indirectly from local and international donors to ensure proper asset registration, effective and the prudent use of public property at all times. This media will follow up on activities of the National Asset and Government Property Commission going forward.


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