Sierra Leone launches anti-bribery platform

18 Oct 16

Sierra Leone is set to launch a platform that will enable citizens to report incidences of bribery in the country, the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office announced yesterday.

Pay No Bribe is a reporting platform, supported by the British government, through which citizens can anonymously report incidents of petty corruption and bribery. Citizens can register an incident via a hotline phone number, the PNB website, or using a mobile app.

This data will allow the government of Sierra Leone to monitor public sector corruption trends, and use quantitative evidence to design more effective anti-corruption policies and processes.

There have been some improvements in tackling corruption in Sierra Leone, but levels remain high enough to threaten the economic gains made since the end of the war in 2002.

PNB is modelled on other successful systems in Ghana, Uganda and India. The platform allows citizens to anonymously record incidents in key areas such as water and sanitation, healthcare, police and energy. Incidents are logged according to location, the type of bribe requested, and the amount, if monetary.

The aims of PNB are in keeping with the government’s commitment to tackle petty corruption and bribery in key service areas. However, the FCO said it is not a system for investigating people or taking punitive action. Rather, it is a data-capturing tool allowing the Anti-Corruption Commission to collect and share data and trends with relevant government departments.

The ACC will publish regular data reports, spotlighting trends among public services. Members of the public, media organisations, and civil society bodies will be able to access data and implement updates from the PNB website.

Ady Macauley of the country’s Anti-Corruption Commission said the platform “puts the weapons to beat the evil of corruption in Sierra Leone into the hands of the public”.

He added: “Ministries, departments and agencies will act on this information to tackle bribery ‘hotspots’ and will report back to the public on the action they have taken.”

Guy Warrington, British High Commissioner to Sierra Leone, said: “Corruption ruins people’s lives, and stops countries becoming wealthier. The Pay No Bribe programme forms an integral part of the UK’s commitment to supporting the government of Sierra Leone’s president’s recovery priorities.”

The PNB reporting platform will be unveiled in the capital Freetown initially, before being rolled out in further cities.

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