25 February 2013

Sierra Leone: Malpractices At Finance Ministry

The 2011 Auditor General's report has revealed that a list of verified domestic suppliers' arrears amounting to the sum of Le4, 594,000,000 in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development (MoFED) was not presented to the auditors for verification. It was noted that the domestic suppliers were not audited either by the Internal Audit Unit in the ministry nor Audit Service Sierra Leone. It was observed that obligations relating to domestic debt arrears amounting to Le406,000,000 even though settled in 2011 continued to be recorded as outstanding liabilities.

It was recommended that the Internal Control Procedures should be performed and documented by personnel at all times and regular monitoring instituted by management to ensure a consistent performance of supervisory checks and reconciliations. The report also revealed that procurement plan that was submitted to the auditors' team was not completed until February 2011 and it was indicated that no procurement plan was in operation during the first two months of the year. It was also noted that there was no evidence that the procurement plan of the ministry was forwarded to the National Public Procurement Authority (NPPA) for inclusion in the quarterly bulletin. The report furthered said that some of the procurement methods stated in the plan did not appropriately take into consideration the value of the contract involved.

It was recommended that in future, procurement planning should be done in the preceding years and should be embedded in the budgetary process of the ministry, adding that as soon as the procurement plan was approved, a copy must be transmitted to the NPPA. The report recommended that members in the procurement unit within the MoFED should be au fait with procurement issues so that they would be able to undertake procurement decisions.

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