Ongoing Audit… 4 Ministries In Trouble

 

For those who err willfully and maliciously in the performance of their public duties, the day of reckoning brings with it a lot of sweating and sleepless nights in anticipation of not only exposure of their transgressions but also fear of what punishment awaits.

The seriousness of the Bio New Direction administration to instill discipline, transparency and accountability in the public service, as promised by President during his presidential campaign and to the parliament and people of this country after coming to power in April has been displayed by the arrival of an expert team of 43 forensic auditors.

Supported by DFID, the team has commenced a one-month technical audit on Social Security, Energy, Telecoms and Civil Works. Deputy Auditor-General in charge of Special Audits, Tamba Momoh said 11 entities within the four sectors will be audited. The audit covers the period 2016 to 2018.

It is certain that the ongoing audit will not be limited to only the four sectors mentioned above but would be the precursor of other investigations into all the MDAs. It is no secret that the Auditor General had year after year expressed disappointment at the management of the nation’s finances by many of the ministries, departments and agencies. In freeing up scarce vital financial resources for financing development, especially his government’s flagship free quality education project, President Bio promised that his government will plug financial leakages leading to increased available finance.

Meanwhile, the Anti Corruption Commission boss, Joseph Ben Kaifala has said that whilst the commission will not involve itself in the government’s probe of the MDAs, it will watching keenly the outcome of the audits and will pounce where sufficient evidence has been adduced to warrant arrest and prosecution for corruption under the ACC Act. So far, minus prosecutions, the ACC has recovered over Le5 billion that was misappropriated by officials of the former government.

A senior Audit Service official told The Exclusive that the nation must understand that Sierra Leone having a credible public financial management system in the country will bring the country much needed budgetary and development funding from The World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the European Union, Britain, USA and critically the Millennium Challenge Corporation whose lavish funding for key infrastructural projects has helped many developing countries in Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe that have passed its benchmarks to make giant leaps forward in the areas of international trade, energy, water, roads and agriculture.