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Friday, August 7, 2020

ACC Instructs Govt. on Fleet & Fuel Management

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Deputy Commissioner of ACC Augustine Foday-Ngobie presenting the report to representatives of the two ministries

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has presented a report on the findings and recommendations for efficiency in the Management of Fleet and Fuel in the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) and the Ministry of Health and Sanitation (MoHS) to the leadership of the two institutions.

This follows the conclusion of a monitoring exercise on the management of fleet and fuel in the two ministries conducted by the Prevention Department of the ACC.

Speaking at the presentation ceremony held at the conference room of the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Country Planning on Friday 7th February, 2020, the Deputy Commissioner of ACC, Augustine Foday-Ngobie said these recommendations in the report are to show how to minimize wastage and mismanagement of fleet and fuel in the two institutions. He said the ACC has decided to eradicate corruption using different prong approaches, noting that the Commission will only succeed in this drive when public offices follow the recommendations contained in such reports. He added that the exercise is not an indictment but actions will be taken for failure to implement the recommendations.

Giving an overview of the report, the Director of Prevention Department at ACC Rashid B Turay, said the ACC has the mandate to examine practices and procedures in government ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) and where there are loopholes the Commission can give recommendations to strengthen their systems. He said for a long time the Commission has been conducting reviews in MDAs and one issue they discovered across all institutions is the mismanagement of fleet and fuel.

Mr. Turay said the Commission is working with the Ministry of Transport and Aviation, Public Asset Commission and the Department for Science, Technology and Innovation (DSTI) to verify government vehicles in terms of purchase, transfer and disposals. He said that during the study so many challenges were discovered and that the recommendations have been provided to tackle these challenges. He added that, after the presentation of the report, the Commission will conduct a follow-up in three months to evaluate the status of the implementation of the recommendations.

Mr. Turay warned that failure to comply with the recommendations will cause the Commission to invoke penalties stipulated in the Anti-Corruption Act, 2008. He said the Commission has therefore hired a consultant with support from OSIWA to develop a step-by-step guide to help with the monitoring exercise. He encouraged the MDAs to take the report very seriously as it is all part of service delivery.

Mohamed Kutubu, Deputy Secretary of the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, said one of the mandates of the ministry is to provide health care services but acknowledged that the management of vehicles in the ministry was very chaotic. He applauded the ACC for a job well done, stressing that the report will serve as an eye-opener to the ministry. He added that they will be committed to seeing the full implementation of the recommendations.

Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Transport and Aviation Mr. Brima S.T. Kebbie also applauded the ACC for the exercise, adding that the issues discovered by the ACC are issues that are common in almost all MDAs.

Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry Fatmata Mustapha said they are grateful to the ACC and internal auditors for the conduct of regular systems reviews. She said the draft of the report was first presented which led to a follow-up meeting between the ministry and ACC to further reconcile the ministry’s position in the draft. She acknowledged that the issue of fleet and fuel management has been a perennial problem and that the ministry will follow the recommendations contained in the report.

The presentation of the findings and recommendations of the report was done by the Head of Monitoring and Compliance Unit at ACC Samson Saidu. Some of the challenges highlighted in the report include poor maintenance of log books, abandoned vehicles, movement of fleet without proper documentation to name a few.

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