At a policy dialogue forum held with development partners, NGOs (both local and international), civil society activists and members of the Forth Estate at the prestigious Radisson Blu Mammy Yoko Hotel at Aberdeen in Freetown on Saturday November 18, 2017 the SLPP 2018 Presidential candidate, Brig. (Rtd.) Julius Maada Bio outlined his vision for Sierra Leone under “The New Direction”.
Brig. (Rtd.) Julius Maada Bio addressed critical development challenges in Sierra Leone and outlined how he intends to address some of those challenges when he became President of the Republic of Sierra Leone on March 7, 2018.
He dilated on a number of issues including education, infrastructure, good governance, free health care, the repeal and replacement of Part 5 of the Public Order Act of 1965, annual subvention payment to SLAJ, free health care delivery and the fight against monumental corruption in the country.
In the area of fighting corruption in the country, the SLPP 2018 Presidential candidate made the following pledge:
“Corruption was one of the major causes of the country’s civil conflict and is a key threat to national security. Corrupt offences manifest themselves in the inflation of government contracts in return for kickbacks; examination malpractices; corporate fraud; tax evasion; falsification of accounts in the public services; taking of bribes, and the perversion of justice among the Police, the Judiciary and other organs in the justice system; falsification of certificates; printing of fake currency; and stealing of public funds, to name a few.
Despite the anti-corruption efforts in the past including the enactment of the Anti Corruption Act and establishment of the Anti Corruption Commission in 2002 and its amendment in 2008, there is substantial evidence of corruption in every facet of our society.
In the New Direction, the SLPP government shall consider corruption as a National Security issue. Corruption becomes a serious threat to national security in so far as it undermines the safety and welfare of the people and the ability of the government to protect the sovereignty of the nation.
In the New Direction, some key policy actions shall include (i) developing our value system and implement a robust merit and reward system in public and private life (ii) strengthening anti-corruption institutions, notably Anti-Corruption Commission, Audit Service Sierra Leone and the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament (iii) Preparing and monitoring implementation plan of recommendations of annual audits of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (v) reviewing within the first one hundred days the Anti Corruption Act to include the publication of all assets declaration forms of all public officials including the President, Members of Parliament, Ministers, Judges and senior Civil Servants before they take office and upon leaving office (vi) set up a system for planning, monitoring and reporting on Development Results referred to as Results-Based Management (RBM) wherein development targets will be set at the start of each year and senior managers will be accountable for delivering on these results (vii) improving social accountability in which public officials and non-state actors will give account of their stewardship”.