The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) of Sierra Leone has issued a public notice extending the deadline for the submission of Income, Assets, and Liabilities declaration by public officers. The notice, released on April 3rd, 2024, emphasized the importance of compliance with the Anti-Corruption Act 2008, as Amended in 2019.

According to the public notice, the statutory deadline for the submission of Asset Declaration Forms, which was initially set for March 31st, 2024, has been extended. The new deadline for submission is now April 30th, 2024. This extension comes as a response to the elapsed deadline and aims to facilitate the completion of the declaration process by public officers.

The ACC highlighted the legal obligation of public officers to declare their income, assets, and liabilities within specific time frames, as outlined in Section 119(1) of the Anti-Corruption Act 2008. Public officers are required to submit their declaration within three months of assuming office, and subsequently every two years, not later than March 31st of the second year. Failure to comply with these requirements is considered a default, as stated by the Commission.

Furthermore, the ACC reiterated the consequences of non-compliance, as outlined in Section 122A(1) of the Amendment. Public officers who fail to submit their Asset Declaration Forms without reasonable cause or provide false information may face administrative sanctions, including the withholding of salary, suspension, or dismissal from office, depending on the duration of default.

The Commission emphasized that the extension provides an opportunity for public officers who have not yet submitted their declaration forms to fulfill their obligations without facing penalties. However, it warned that defaulters beyond the extended deadline will be subject to appropriate penalties as prescribed by law.

In light of the extension, the ACC encouraged public officers facing challenges with filling out the declaration forms to seek assistance promptly. The Assets Declaration Office of the Commission is available to provide support and guidance to individuals requiring assistance in completing the necessary documentation.

The public notice serves as a reminder to all public officers in Sierra Leone of their responsibility to uphold transparency and accountability in public service. By declaring their income, assets, and liabilities, public officers contribute to the efforts aimed at combating corruption and promoting good governance in the country.

The ACC reiterated its commitment to ensuring compliance with anti-corruption laws and urged all stakeholders to cooperate in the fight against corruption. It encouraged proactive engagement from public officers to facilitate the smooth execution of the declaration process and contribute to the integrity of public institutions.