Providence, Mahe, Seychelles:
Significant strides have been made in the fight against Corruption globally and nationally. For the year 2021, the Seychelles achieved a global ranking of 23 out of 180 countries on the Corruption Perception Index (CPI 2022) with an index score of 70 out of a possible 100, ranking at number 1 in Sub-Saharan Africa on the Index issued by Transparency International.
The Seychelles formally launched the Anti-Corruption Commission in 2017. Guided by its vision, mission and underlying core values, the mandate of the Commission is to combat and prevent corruption, economic crime and unethical conduct in Seychelles.
Since its inception, several amendments have been made to the Anti-Corruption Act 2016 and strengthening the Anti-Money Laundering Act 2020 to ensure that our law enforcement agencies can tackle financial and economic crimes with robust legislation.
The Commission will make every effort within its powers to continue to work diligently, directing every resource at its disposal to investigate all cases of corruption and educate the public on the danger of corruption and enlist public support in the fight. In the last years, the Commission has recorded successful conviction due to its investigations.
More recently in November/December 2021, the ACCS made several arrests in a high-profile case involving the embezzlement of $50M by a former senior public official. This has been and is still a significant growth opportunity for the Commission in redefining the Commission?s strategies and strengthening its resilience towards its mandate. As I previously noted, no one is above the law and crime does not pay.
The fight against corruption is our priority and in addition to a rolling programme of prevention and awareness in our schools and the public sector, there are various oversight mechanisms to ensure that there is transparency and clear audit trails in our public procurement process. This will be no different to the government spending during the COVID-19 pandemic; each public institution has a procurement policy and plan, budgets are presented in the National Assembly, the Auditor General carries out annual audits on the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), the Finance and Public Accounts Committee scrutinizes the audit report and MDAs are summoned to account for any areas of concern highlighted in the Auditor General's report.
It is important to note that success in the fight against corruption is dependent on joint efforts and initiatives by all stakeholders and the public. In addition, societal and cultural perceptions remain critical in the drive against practices which lead to corruption.
On the African Anti-Corruption Day, the ACCS renews its commitment to continue to strive to reduce corruption in our small island state. We are no longer a soft target for corruption. We do not work for the government but for our country and the people of Seychelles. I therefore call upon all to play their rightful roles in promoting integrity and combatting corruption in our country.
May De Silva