Sierra Leone: Rights body lauds establishment of asset declaration committee

Freetown, Sierra Leone (PANA) - Campaign for Human Rights and Developments International (CHRDI) has welcomed the establishment of the Asset Declaration Regulation Committee by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) in Sierra Leone.

In a statement by the rights body on Friday, it said: “We welcome the declaration ... and we hold the belief that it would act as a strong deterrent and provide a real opportunity to identify those public servants involved in illegal enrichment.”

ACC says every year up to 100,000 government employees are expected to fill asset declaration forms, but most of the employees are not compliant. Under the 2008 ACC Act, it is compulsory for civil servants to declare their assets annually. Failure to do so would attract a fine 20 million leones (US$2,800) or one year imprisonment.

The committee, which was set up on Thursday, consists of officials from Law Reform Commission, Audit Service Sierra Leone, Accountant General's Office, Financial Intelligence Unit Cabinet Office and Office of the Attorney General and Minister of Justice.

CHRDI has been critical of ACC’s operations in the country. Early this year, it criticised the anti-graft body for not doing enough to fight corruption.

Even though the CHRDI appreciates the setting up of the asset declaration committee, it has also vowed to closely follow the operation of the committee.

Two months ago, civil society groups launched a ‘Citizens Manifesto’ in which they demanded that public officials running for office should declare their assets.

This is not the first step the ACC has taken to get civil servants to cooperate with declaring their assets, as the system was digitalized a few months ago to allow everyone to participate.
-0- PANA MJN/MA 29Sept2017

29 september 2017 19:12:04

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