By Amin Kef (Ranger)
During the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) weekly Press Conference held on the 19th January, 2023 at the Conference Room of the Ministry, the Auditor General of Audit Service Sierra Leone updated members of the Fourth Estate of the 2021 Audit Report.
According to Morie Lansana, Assistant Auditor General Audit Service Sierra Leone, the Office of the President, Vice President’s Office and other offices were audited during the 2021 audit year underscoring that there were no irregularities that were material enough with regards the aforementioned offices to have been brought into the Auditor General’s Annual Report 2021.
He informed newsmen that many offices were audited during the period stating that the Offices of the President and Vice President were able to address the queries during the audit process for which there were no irregularities that were material enough to be included in the 2021 Audit Report.
The Assistant Auditor General disclosed that Audit Service Sierra Leone (ASSL) held breakfast meetings with key Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) at their office headquarters on the 12th Floor of the Freetown City Council Building, Wallace Johnson Street in Freetown with the objective of getting updates from them regarding the implementation of the audit recommendations in the 2021 Auditor-General’s Annual Report and chart the roadmap for the 2022 audit which is set to commence this January.
He pointed out that on Tuesday 10th January 2023, the ASSL hosted the Accountant General’s Department, the Sierra Leone Police and the Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary School Education, while on Wednesday 11th January, they met with the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.
According to him, the Audit Service team expressed concern over the repeated queries in the audit report especially when some of them are control issues that ought to have been cleared during the audit field work adding how the ASSL decided to conduct most of the audits between January and May this year.
The ASSL team also informed that this year’s audit will not only concentrate on financial records and documents but will also focus on service delivery which has a great impact on the citizens.
It was also mentioned that the auditors will sit with the clients in drafting the recommendations in line with the standard operating procedures.
The MDAs commended the ASSL for inviting them to the breakfast meeting and promised to liaise with other MDAs to immediately develop a strategy in ensuring actions are taken for the implementation of the recommendations.
They expressed satisfaction with the idea of auditors going beyond financial records and focusing on service delivery and promised to give their fullest cooperation to the auditors whenever the need arise.
The MDA officials promised to implement the recommendations in the Auditor-General’s Report and to fully cooperate with the auditors during this year’s audit.