By Jeneba Kemoh
The Eastern Regional Office of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has engaged staff of the Immigrations Department in Kenema on upholding integrity in public service delivery.
The meeting was held at the Immigration Department in Kenema.
Senior Public Education Officer, ACC, Sulaiman B. Sowa, told the Immigration officials that integrity should be the guiding principle of their work as they are the first and last point of contact of people entering and departing the country.
He encouraged them to mind the sensitivity of their work and ensure their actions are consistent with public sector values and public expectations.
Mr. Sowa described integrity as the moral barometer that directs public officers in doing their job selflessly and professionally, a value he said should manifest in their daily work as it is a lifestyle and not a dress code.
Dilating on the offences in the 2008 Anti-Corruption Act as amended in 2019, Mr. Sowa reminded all immigration officers that corruption is now a very expensive enterprise, as the amendment has brought about stiffer fines and jail terms, tilted the evidential burden on bribery and made restitution mandatory. “With integrity, public officers can be immune to corruption,” he concluded.
Commenting on corruption risk factors at the Immigration Department, Public Education Officer, Jeneba Kemoh, raised the issue of volunteers and their placement at the border areas, noting that their presence at such locations without remunerations is a corruption risk factor.
She encouraged the officers to resist, reject and report corruption anytime and always.
Responding, Deputy Regional Immigration Officer, Alie T. Koroma said the engagement was timely as it availed them the opportunity to learn many things necessary to help them do their job with integrity. He lamented on the several challenges faced in doing their job but reassured the Commission that they will discharge their duties with integrity and professionalism. A question-and-answer session climaxed the engagement.