November 7, 2017 By Jariatu S. Bangura
Senior officials from the Ministry of Internal Affairs were yesterday unable to explaine how millions of Leones allocated to them during the 2016/2017 were expended.
Members of the sub-appropriation committee in parliament commenced hearings on how ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) expended their budgetary allocations and what their next priorities would be in the 2018 budget that was approved by Parliament last Friday.
Responding to committee members, Permanent Sectary Alhassan Kondeh said over the past years they have been receiving allocations every six months and not quarterly.
He said they only received the second half of their allocation for 2016 in October of that year, which was rolled over to 2017 financial year.
According to Deputy Chairperson of the Sub-Committee, Hon. Helen Kuyembeh, MDAs should provide information that the committee request to make their work easier.
She noted that the officials were skillfully failing to answer questions posed to them by committee members, thus calling for the hearing to be deferred.
“We should not be fishing the answers from you during the hearings; you should have stated it in the questionnaires provided to you in order to make our work easier. If you fail to state the actual amount then how would we know the expenditures you under took. We need evidence of what is received and what is expended,” she said.
On his part, Hon. Michael Sho-Sawyer said the documents supplied by ministry officials were not enough for them to clarify what was spent or received.
“They failed to supply bank statements and receipts of expenditure,” he charged.
However, the Permanent Sectary pleaded with the committee members to give them time to put their house in order.
The committee deferred the hearing to Thursday, 9 November.