By Jariatu S. Bangura
The Auditor General’s report has revealed that the Ministry of Finance spent more than the amount of money allocated to the ministry in the 2020 financial year.
The amount budgeted for the ministry’s recurrent and capital expenditure during the period under review was Le164, 000,365,700 and the amount spent was Le270, 660,333,882 as per the expense analysis system (IFMIS) and payroll vouchers.
The spending, according to the report, resulted in a budget overrun of Le106, 659,968,182 in the ministry of finance.
Auditors therefore recommended that the deputy financial secretary responsible for administration, in collaboration with the budget department, ensures that the ministry prepares an appropriate budget considering all the activities from the different divisions and avoid undertaking activities not in the budget.
According to the deputy financial secretary responsible for administration, the minister of finance led a management and functional review of the ministry of finance to identify capacity gaps after the inception of the new direction government in 2018.
He said the management and functional review resulted in the expansion of the organogram and creation of new divisions and directorates in the ministry.
Subsequently, he said, recruitment of officials at various levels was done in FY2020 which accounted for the overrun observed in the ministry’s payroll budget.
The report noted that the ministry failed to provide sufficient evidence in respect of recurrent and capital expenditure to justify the overspending that occurred on the payroll of the ministry.
The report further revealed that funds which amounted to Le650,000,000 were disclosed under “Unallocated Expenditure Head (612)” to defray the cost of funeral expenses for some government and public officers who had passed away without any regulations, policy or other legal instruments to justify the stated disbursement, stating that such disbursement could be considered ineligible.