An Assessment of the Role of State Parliament and the Anti-Corruption Commission in the Fight against Public Sector Corruption and Accountability in Sierra Leone
AbstractThe public sector is usually portrayed as the backbone of national governments. Its ability to efficiently coordinate and implement government policies as well as to manage the country’s resources mostly stand at a crossroad leading to either the path of development or underdevelopment. The major factors that undermine the ability of most governments in choosing between these two critical paths lie in corruption and lack of accountability in public governance. The Audit Service Sierra Leone (ASSL, 2014) ‘real time’ audit report on the management of the Ebola funds named the public healthcare sector, certain individuals and organizations for allegedly using public funds for its unintended purposes.In an effort to uncover the level of public sector corruption and lack of accountability measures demonstrated by some public institutions, individuals and organizations during the Ebola emergency in Sierra Leone, content analysis of reports by Audit Service Sierra Leone (ASSL) and the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) in the House of Parliament were examined. The tussle for jurisdiction over the matter between Parliament and the Anti-Corruption Commission has also been examined.The findings indicate that giving an overwhelming discretionary power to certain individuals and organizations in the handling of huge financial resources for public welfare amidst an emergency without proper checks and balances result into ignorance of existing rules and regulations required for public financial management. The actions of these individuals and organizations led to some corrupt practices, deprived government of collecting its most needed tax revenues and undermined government’s effort in the fight against the disease that led to the loss of over 3,956 lives and 14,124 infected cases during the Ebola outbreak that shut the doors to economic development for almost two years in the country.Key Words: Public Sector, Corruption, Accountability, Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), Audit Service Sierra Leone (ASSL), Parliament, Public Accounts Committee (PAC), Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC)
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