• December 22, 2023

2022 Audit Report Call Duty Bearers to Order

2022 Audit Report Call Duty Bearers to Order
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By Donstance Koroma

The theme of the 2022 annual audited report put out by the country’s supreme audit institution has captured the attention of many economists and financial experts in and out of the country.

The Audit Service Sierra Leone has deliberately labelled the 2022 Audit Report as “A reminder to Bring Duty Bearers to Account, to many cannot be unconnected to the deliberate refusal by legislative and the executive arms to bring duty bearers to book for the recklessly manner they have handled the management and administration of state resources by ministries, departments and agencies over the years.

The said refusal by the relevant authority like Parliament charged with the responsibility to debate and recommend punitive actions on MDAs have led to MDAs enjoying impunity for their ugly deeds.

The Audit Service Sierra Leone also  pleaded for the institution  to seek financial independence and support  from parliament and the executive  arms of  government , through the ministry of finance  for enhancement of resources to enable the audit institution  build it technical capacity , expand its presence widen its coverage of audit work .

In the commission pursuit to remain relevant and enhance the follow up process of its recommendations, the institution and the World Bank and oversight bodies has  designed a  Audit Fellow up  Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) developed to aid improve and clarify audit follow up process with relevant stakeholders , by detailing the follow up processes, responsibilities and action of concerned parties .

The SOP, will also outline applicable sanctions for failure to comply with the report by the relevant , hence stands cogent to note that the Public Financial management laws are currently being amended to include the dictates of those SOP.Under the executive summary of the 2022 audit report , one hundred and eight (108) audit of which  thirty two (32) are ministries and departments, forty five (45) public enterprises and commissions , twenty two (22) Local Councils , six (6) Diplomatic Missions and three (3) performance audits.

The executive summary categorically stated that the report in question contains irregularities with financial impact that the audit institution wish to bring to public parliament in accordance with 95 (1) of the Public Financial Management Act, 2016.

Some glaring irregularities in the report as classified by the report include impress no retired, statutory deductions not paid, assets and stores management, payments / expenditure management , procurements and contracts management and revenue management

“The construction of our headquarters building in Freetown, which is ongoing, has been slow due to the delay in the disbursement of  funds , however, the ASSL, continues to appeal to parliament and the Ministry of Finance for adequate funds to complete this building  project”  The Executive Summary states.

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