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Audit report nails Bonthe, Kenema district councils

February 14, 2017 By Regina Pratt

 The 2015 Auditor General’s report has indicated that reports of the Chief Administrators (CAs) of both the Kenema and Bonthe district councils were inconsistent with revenues reported in Statement 2 of the financial statements of the two Councils.

The report states that the Kenema City Council’s  bank reconciliations were not adequately prepared, as closing cashbook balances used in the bank reconciliations did not agree with closing cashbook balances in the cashbook and the financial statements, adding that as a result of such issues, there were material uncertainties over cash and cash equivalent balances disclosed in the financial statements.

“In addition, due to the inadequate reconciliation process, there is a related material uncertainty over revenue and expenditure as disclosed in the financial statements,” the reports states.

 For the Bonthe Municipal Council, the report states that the amounts for revenue receipts, expenditure, cash flows and cash positions, were inconsistent with the amounts disclosed in Statement 1 and Statement 2 of the Core Financial Statements.

The report also states that the amount disclosed as budget in the CA’s report was different from the budgeted revenue and expenditure in Statement 2 of the core financial statements.

According to the Audit report, the Mayor declined taking any responsibility for the content of the financial statements and mentioned that he had no knowledge of the content of the financial statements, and that all undertakings or information contained therein were not his views.

The report states that the report of the Mayor was written and included in the financial statements without his approval and that the scanned signatures appended to the financial statements was done without his approval.

“The Bonthe Municipal Council, completeness, existence and accuracy of figures reported in the council’s financial statements as 2015 opening balances were not accurately brought forward as they did not agree with 2014 closing balances for all accounts operated by the council,” the report stated, noting  that the bank reconciliations produced were not adequately prepared as closing cash book balances in the bank reconciliations failed to agree with closing cash book balances in the corresponding general ledgers.

The report also stated that there were material uncertainties over cash and bank balances that were disclosed in the financial statements and the revenue and expenditure incurred.

The 2015 Audit report continued that Bonthe Municipal Council deviated from the procurement plan in the contract for the rehabilitation of the children’s ward in the Bonthe Government Hospital and the installation of multi-user internet connectivity in the Municipal Library.

 “During the course of the audit, we also found that procurement procedures were not followed for a number of contracts undertaken by the council,” the reports states, adding that  approval for a contract award in respect of the supply of diets amounting to Le108.6 million was done by the Mayor instead of the Procurement Committee.

In addition, the report states that contract specifications were not followed for the supply of hand-pumps in the rehabilitation of three hand-pump wells in the municipality, noting that as well as breaching the legislation, the action might have resulted in the council not achieving maximum value for money.

The report notes that during 2015,the  were no receipts or bank payment records for  unclaimed salaries totaling Le4.95 million to ascertain that the amount was refunded into the council’s administrative account.

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