Parliament Refutes Corruption Allegation

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Parliament of Sierra Leone

By Esther Wright

The Parliament of Sierra Leone objects and takes serious exception that it is the second most corrupt institution in Sierra Leone; following the conclusion of a 2019 Corruption Perception Report released by the DFID-Funded PFM Consortium including Center for Accountability and the Rule of Law (CARL).

The Parliament of Sierra Leone is the supreme legislative body in Sierra Leone that has the constitutional authority to hold the executive to account.

The Parliament is accountable and answerable to the people of Sierra Leone in light of Section 5(2a) of the 1991 Constitution of Sierra Leone that places sovereignty in the people from whom through the said constitution power, authority and legitimacy is derived.

The main objections of Parliament are on the following grounds:

  1. Due to public outcry, Parliament abandons its stance for an improved conditions of service; having in mind it is the least paid Parliament in the subregion.
  2. Parliament concedes and listens to the cries of the people in light of the economic reality, even though it has power under the Constitution in Section 74(4) to determine its conditions of service and the power of the purse.
  3. Parliament openly conducts its business both at Committee and the Plenary in the full view of the public; most times it is streamed live on radio, TV and other social media platforms.
  4. Parliament had organized its Open Day in the full view and attendance of the donor community to promote an open Parliament and increase citizens understanding about the functions and operations of Parliament.
  5. Due to public outcry again, Parliament had expunged a certain section in the then Finance Act that provides for non-accountable imprest for the President, Vice-President and the Speaker of Parliament.
  6. Due to its commitment to the implementation of the Bo Declaration on procedural adherence, Parliament now settles division with voting by standing in the open.
  7. Parliament spars on radio on allegation of corruption and the matter is being investigated by the ACC.
  8. Parliament is also constrained with late disbursement of funds to carryout its oversight obligation.

This is an open, transparent and accountable Parliament to the people of Sierra Leone devoid of corruption.

In light of the above, Parliament strongly condemns the outcome of the said survey relating to its image and sees it as an affront deliberately fabricated to damage its reputation.

Parliament now challenges the said consortium to advance its evidence as it deems the outcome of the survey as a solitary figment of imagination to destroy the good image of Parliament.

The Parliament of Sierra Leone is constitutionally required to make law for the peace, security and good governance of the country; to represent the people and hold the executive to account for the overall development of the country.

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