The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) and the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security (MAFFS), has strengthened partnership in the fight against corruption by signing an Integrity Pledge on Thursday 26th April 2017. This event took place at the Ministry's Conference Hall, Youyi Building, Brookfields Freetown. The Commissioner ACC, Ady Macauley Esq., accompanied by his Deputy Shollay Davies, signed the Pledge on behalf of the ACC, whilst Professor Monty Jones, Minister of Agriculture signed on behalf of his Ministry.
The Pledge is the first to be signed between the ACC and the Ministry. The Commissioner of the ACC sees it as an opportunity for both institutions to restate their commitment in the fight against corruption.
"There is the Anti-Corruption law and the Public Procurement Law... The law is the law. Once it has gone through the legislative process we are bound by it. But this is just to restate our commitment to follow the oath we took when we became public servants," the Commissioner reaffirmed.
The ACC Commissioner also noted in his statement that the Ministry is a key pillar in the socio-economic development of the country. He added that as public servants, they are holding trustee positions and that it is a breach of trust anytime one does something that is improper. In a passionate tone, Commissioner Macauley encouraged all and sundry to put Sierra Leone first at all times.
In buttressing the Commissioner's passion in the fight against corruption, Professor Monty Jones outlined that upon becoming Minister, one of the first things he tried to do was not just to fight corruption but also to set things right. Professor Jones added that, though over the years there had been a lot of issues in his Ministry, he said, he could stake his neck today that tremendous efforts had been made to fight corruption in his Ministry.
"I know that over the years there have been lots of issues relating to corruption in Agriculture... but we've passed that today. And we are waiting very keenly for the next Audit Report to see how we stand... I think there will be considerable improvement," Professor Jones asserted.
Apart from the signatures of the Commissioner and the Minister, senior staff of the Ministry also signed the Pledge.
Addressing them directly, Professor Jones said that, it was very important that they understood what they were signing. He encouraged them to read and understand the document well and put its content into practice.
Professor Jones and his staff were appreciative of the Commission's work under the leadership of Mr. Macauley.
"I would like to add my voice and thank the ACC... You people have done a fantastic job all these years, but more so in the short period that you have been there as Commissioner," Professor Jones stated.
The Ministry of Agriculture under the leadership of Professor Monty Jones, expressed keen interest to continue the fight against corruption. The Minister reiterated the Commissioner's philosophy that we should always put our country first. He added that putting our country first means doing the right thing all the time.