National, News

Anti-Corruption Bill passed for assent

By Aweye Teddy Onam


Transitional Assembly on Wednesday passed the South Sudan Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009 (Amended) 2023 with recommendations to the fourth and final reading stage.

Once ascended into law by the President, it will regulate malpractices in public institutions and ensure the smooth running of services.

The Act also mandates the commission to protect public properties and probe corruption cases, combat administrative malpractices, and promote ethical standards.

It also assigns the commission with powers to allocate supervision of the directorates of investigation and prosecution to a member with a legal background.

Chapter Five of the Act empowers the commission to seize assets suspected to be proceeds of corruption by public officials.

Abraham Biar Deng, a lawmaker representing Jonglei state, emphasized the need for funding for the anti-corruption efforts to ensure the commission receives the necessary resources.

He said that the National Legislative Assembly should ensure that the necessary funds are released to the anti-corruption efforts, in line with the Constitution and law.

Deng believes that this is the right time to ensure that anti-corruption efforts are properly funded and performed.

Commenting also on the passing of the bill, another Lawmaker Aweil Mayen said the Anti-Corruption Commission should serve as an advisory body to the government, focusing on preventing corrupt practices and advising the government on their prevention.

Mayen also suggests the commission should carry out awareness to educate the public about corrupt practices.

Peter Lomude Francis, an MP from Central Equatoria State, expressed his gratitude to the Committee of Public Accounts and the Committee on Legislation and Justice for their work on the Anti-Corruption Amendment bill.

Mr. Lomude also said the renewal of the tenure of the Chairperson, Deputy Chairperson, and members of the Anti-Corruption Commission should be based on their performance.

He argued that this should be a requirement rather than just an open renewal of their term and that the Anti-Corruption Commission should be empowered with the power of prosecution.

The South Sudan Anti-Corruption Commission (SSAC) earlier stated that scarce funds and a weaker legal framework are factors that frustrate the battle against corruption in the country.

According to Transparency International ranking, South Sudan is placed as the world’s most corrupt country; it’s rated number 180 out of 180 countries in its January 2022 report.

According to the report, South Sudan continued to maintain the position for years, without any alleged case of corruption despite several reports by the Audit Chamber implicating some officials of pocketing 3 percent for oil field communities.

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