June 30, 2015 By Jariatu S. Bangura
As members of the Public Accounts Committee in Parliament continue their investigation into the 2013 Auditor General’s report, it has been revealed that the sum of Le1,062,418,284, reported in 2012 as terminal benefits remains unverified.
According to Deputy Auditor-General, Tamba Momoh, the terminal benefits provision and calculation were calculated by the directorate of the Deputy Director of Finance, adding that slated policies were not followed by the National Revenue Authority (NRA) in the computation of the benefits.
It was thus recommended that management ensures a clearly defined method of calculating terminal benefits was put in place and provide relevant document for the amount reported in 2012.
Momoh said the discrepancies were observed in the opening non-balance assets balances (cost and accumulated depreciation) for the period 2011/2012. There was also a difference between the general ledger figure and the financial statement in respect of land amounting to Le205 million, he said, adding: “It was recommended that the NRA effected the necessary adjustments to the financial statements for the differences in the opening non-current balances.”
He said the depreciation valuation did not tie up with policy that was said to have been followed, thus insisting there was need for further explanation by management of NRA.
However, Internal Auditor at NRA, Ibrahim Sorie Kamara, told the parliamentary hearing that at the time the auditing was done the account was not adjusted because of what he said was the hastiness of the auditors, and that when the audit was completed they realised there were errors in the account submitted to the auditors, which explains the difference in statements.
Kamara said they would usually have routine checks and that audit recommendations were adhered to, including terminal benefits, adding that auditing had not been done regularly at the NRA but it took the intervention of the current Commissioner-General to request for a proper auditing to Audit Service Sierra Leone in a bid “to do things right and correctly”.
He concluded that the issues raised in the audit report were things of the past as there have been marked improvement at the Authority.