October 13, 2017 By Jariatu S. Bangura
Members of Parliament on Tuesday enacted the Fiscal Management and Control Act, 2017, which provides for the direction of agencies of government to transfer revenues or other monies received into the Consolidated Revenue Fund.
Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Momoh Vandi, said the Act intends to provide efficient and effective management of revenue collection.
He said clause 3 of the bill stipulates that all monies held in the accounts of agencies of government will be transferred into the fund when the Act becomes operational.
“Revenues or any monies received by an agency will be retained for the purpose of defraying expenses and such monies should be paid into the fund,” he said.
Chairman of the Finance Committee, Hon. Hassan Sheriff, noted that the enactment of the bill was long overdue as it had been in the shelf of parliament for almost five months.
He urged the Ministry of Finance to ensure frequent monitoring of the account as agencies have been running their affairs single-handedly without delay.
“It is barely three months for the closure of the financial year and now you are here for such enactment. I hope you will reconsider thoroughly on the issue of MDAs transferring funds received into the CRF at the end of their services. The Audit Service Sierra Leone has been finding it difficult to audit those MDAs accounts,” he said.
Hon. Sheriff also urged that the Revenue and Policy Division of the Finance Ministry be given the responsibility to manage the affairs of accounts once the bill becomes a law.
Hon. Foday Rado Yokie of the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) stated that one way a government could handle loop holes in the activities of MDAs was by managing a single entry account so as to ensure that they account for funds received or spent.
He said the bill, when enacted into law, would help to tackle wastages of funds received on behalf of the country and described fiscal discipline as a healthy initiative that any government should undertake.
Acting Minority Leader, Hon. Sidie Tunis, opined that though some agencies are technical in their operation, especially the telecommunications industry, they should create a way to address such.