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Sierra Leone defends anti-corruption record

The head of Sierra Leone’s Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), Ade Macauley, has defended the country’s record in fighting graft, saying the latest Transparency International Corruption Index did not represent the correct picture.Macauley, who was responding to a question in a radio interview on Friday, following the release of the 2018 Transparency International Corruption Perception Index, noted that while corruption is indeed a major problem in the country, the focus should be on how to address it and that is what his Commission has been working on.

In the report released on Thursday, Sierra Leone is ranked 130 out of 180, moving seven places down from 123 in 2016. Sierra Leone is notably ranked below its MRU neighbour, Liberia.

But according to Macauley, while the ranking is important, the net performance score is the most important in gauging a country’s performance. He said the TI ranking did not show the real picture.

“When you are determining progress in corruption fight, you do not just look at the table TI sets which is based on perceptions. And perceptions are usually not realities or facts on the ground,” he said.

Macauley argued that while in 2015 Sierra Leone was ranked 119 on the index, it was scored 29 points. He said in 2016 the country was 123 and scored 30 points, the same score in the 2017 ranking.

Macauley went on to say that two third of the countries covered in the TI report remained in the same place in terms of scores last year, pointing to the fact that it is not just a phenomenon isolated to Sierra Leone.

“In as much as we came up to 130, but we still maintain our score, which is 30 last year and we maintained it this year,” he said.

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