February 17, 2020
By Jariatu S. Bangura
Audit Service Sierra Leone (ASSL),together with some Civil Society Organizations, has called on Ministries, Departs and Agencies to implement the 2018 Auditor General’s recommendations.
Deputy Auditor General, Tamba Momoh, said they used more than ten weeks to complete the verification responses, but most times some MDAs delay in supplying the necessary information needed by auditors.
He stated that they do not have the power to withhold their salaries for not adhering to the recommendations of ASSL.
He stated that the annual reports are always prepared and tabled in parliament; thereafter the Public Account Committee would probe into it.
He confirmed that they have signed two Memorandums of Understanding with the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) in 2012 and 2017, but that they are yet to act upon the MOU, adding that in most of ACC cases, they have been providing them the necessary information.
Principal Auditor, Alfred Batilo Saffa reveals that some MDAs collect billions of Leones on withholding taxes, but failed to transfer it to the National Revenue Authority and NASSIT, which he said was posing serious challenges.
Daniel S. Pewah from Native Consortium said since the 2018 report has now been tabled in Parliament, government together with parliament should try to summon defaulting MDAs and bring them to book.
“We are sending the message to the duty bearers to take the issues mentioned in the 2018 report seriously and bring to book defaulting MDAs. We are doing our work as CSOs and we want parliament to work as they have the statutory mandate to perform oversight functions,” he said.
Juilet Anderson from Civil Society Movement- Sierra Leone said the 2018 report has good recommendations and must be put into actions by MDAs.
“Year in and out, we see Audit Service publish recommendations and this time around, we need action and we the CSOs have something in mind. our role is to monitor the work and interact with MDAs for effective and efficient performance,” she said.