June 17, 2015 By Ibrahim Tarawallie
A systems and processes review carried out by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) in the Ministry of Water Resources, Guma Valley Water Company and the Sierra Leone Water Company (SALWACO) highlighted a couple of gaps, including but not limited to the absence of a procurement manuals and fixed asset registers.
The report, which assesses financial management, administration, procurement, internal controls and asset management of the three entities, was officially launched yesterday in the conference room of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development.
Presenting findings of the report, ACC’s Systems Analyst, Horatio Barlay, said they observed during the review that most transactions in the aforementioned institutions were bereft of supporting documents.
He said 5% withholding tax was not deducted from suppliers’ payments and that internal audit queries were not responded to by management.
He said the Water Resources Ministry, which should play an oversight role over SALWACO, was not fully supported and that most of the ministry’s assets were not coded.
The review recommended that the ministry should actively monitor projects being implemented by SALWACO as well as develop a coded asset register.
For SALWACO, the report indicated inadequate records of fuel consumption, lack of community involvement in project implementation, non-involvement of internal auditors in management meetings and the expiration of the term of the board since March 2014.
Director-General of SALWACO, Samuel Bangura, and General Manager of Guma Valley Water Company, Bankole Mansaray, said they were determined to ensure the recommendations were fully implemented.
Earlier, ACC Commissioner, Joseph Fitzgerald Kamara, emphasised that the review of systems and processes of ministries, departments and agencies was part of the commission’s work to give an insight into things that are not working properly.
He stated that the overall objective of the review was to promote transparency and accountability and added that internal control continues to pose a plethora of issues in the management of local institutions.
“This review is not to name and shame or cast aspersions on people, but to ensure transparency and accountability,” he assured and expressed hope that recommendations contained in the report would be fully implemented.