Anti-Corruption Commission ready to receive cases from public
The chief executive of ACCS, May De Silva, sent out a clear message to everyone in the public and private sector that corruption is a crime and giving and accepting bribes is also a crime. (Anti-Corruption Commission Seychelles)
(Seychelles News Agency) - The Anti-Corruption Commission Seychelles (ACCS) is open and ready to receive cases from the public.
Duncan Gaswaga, the chair of the ACCS, called on the members of the public to “not just talk about any corrupt practices you may witness but to come forward and report to us.” He said that the identity of any person filing a case will be kept private.
Complaints and evidence of corruption can be made by sending email to firstname.lastname@example.org, by sending a letter or calling the ACCS’ head office on Latanier Road.
The chief executive of ACCS, May De Silva, sent out a clear message to everyone in the public and private sector that corruption is a crime and giving and accepting bribes is also a crime.
|The members of the anti corruption committee, from left -- Daniel Belle, Priscille Chetty, Marie-Claire Elizabeth, the chief executive -- May De Silva, Hardy Lucas and the chair Ugandan Judge Gaswaga. (Salifa Magnan, Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: CC-BY|
“This commission has been established to fight corruption - nothing more, nothing less. The Anti-Corruption Act 2016 gives us the power to investigate, detect and prevent corruption,” De Silva said at the official launch of the commission at the STC Conference Room on Thursday.
The act, which consists of eight parts, 85 sections and numerous sub-sections, came into force on March 31 last year. It will help the commission achieve its vision of becoming a robust institution that fosters a corruption-free society in an environment of integrity, accountability and transparency.
Section 55(3)(b) of the act gives the CEO or officers of the commission the power to “enter and search, at any time, the premises of any public or private body or any vessel, boat, aircraft or other conveyance, where the chief has reasonable grounds to believe that any property or thing corruptly acquired has been placed or deposited.”
“There are big fines that come with not allowing us the access to the information. According to the act, if information is not provided within 30 days one can be fined up to $15,000 (200,000 Seychelles rupees) and also imprisonment,” said De Silva.
She added that the commission wants to re-educate the public and private sector by informing them about the act as “some people may think that the practice is the norm and we want to break this mindset.”
The act which came into force on March 31 last year will help the commission achieve its vision of becoming a robust institution that fosters a corruption-free society in an environment of integrity, accountability and transparency.(Salifa Magnan, Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: CC-BY
Arrest of a person done based on reasonable reasons can be made by any police officer without the issuing of an arrest warrant as per stated by Section 57(1) of the act.
But who will ensure that the commission remains uncorrupted? De Silva explained that “if someone has a complaint against the commission they can approach us to make their complaint.”
“If they are not satisfied with our investigation, they can go to the ethics commission or the ombudsman and make a complaint there. Under the act, the commission can [also] be sued,” said De Silva.
In his speech during the launching Gaswaga said that the fight against corruption should not be left to only the Commission and government and its agencies but it should be the duty of every citizen.
The Commission can be contacted on -- Telephone: +248 432 60 61 -- Email: email@example.com. Its address: ACCS office, Docklands Building (3rd floor), P O Box 1456, Victoria, Mahe, Seychelles