Sierra Leone — President Dr Ernest Bai Koroma on Friday 12 February was presented at State House with an inquiry report on the failed West Africa Regional Fisheries Programme (WARFP) – a Sierra Leone project in the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources (MFMR).
Speaking after receiving the report, President Koroma assured that the report will be looked at closely and recommendations thereof will be implemented to the fullest. He said the report will help to create awareness among civil servants to be looking into their activities as well as send a clear message that no one is untouchable.
The president reiterated government’s commitment in restructuring the Civil Service by giving it the relevant professionalism in the execution of its mandate. He pointed out that the Secretary to the President in consultation with the Chief of Staff and the Anti-Corruption Commission will work closely on the recommendations.
Presenting the report, Chairman of the Public Service Commission Dr Max Amadu Sesay explained that the commission carried out a comprehensive investigation into the WARFP – from project inception, management and coordination, procurement processes and consultancy services, the contract award process, to the issue of bank guarantee required by MFMR, assessment of the consultant’s performance, and allegations of corruption among others. This was achieved through robust evidence gathering, he said.
Dr Sesay however noted that due to lack of real evidence to corroborate most of the allegations of corruption, it was difficult for the committee to recommend more severe disciplinary action. The preponderance of the evidence submitted instead points in the direction of weak financial base of the contractor, poor financial management by the contractor and poor contractor performance and delivery.
According to the PSC Chairman, the committee advanced a number of recommendations informed by thorough analysis and interpretation of the evidence and guided by the Public Service Commission Regulations of 1982 and the Civil Service Code, Regulations and Rules.
It would be recalled that President Koroma on July 16, 2015, directed the PSC to conduct an administrative inquiry into allegations of misconduct and administrative incompetence with a view to making and improving on work place decisions where Public Servants are concerned.