Audit Service Presents 2022 Annual Report to Parliament Amidst Controversy

By Amin Kef (Ranger)

The 2022 Annual Audit Report on the Accounts of Sierra Leone was submitted to Parliament on the 14th December 2023, according to the Acting Auditor-General of Sierra Leone. The report, expected to be made public next week, will first be tabled in Parliament, ahead of the Members of Parliament’s holiday break.

The submission comes amidst controversy regarding the lack of inclusion of certain high-ranking offices in the previous audit report. Notably, the last audit did not encompass the Office of the President, Vice President and First Lady, and it remains uncertain if these offices will be included in the current report.

In the backdrop of this uncertainty, the previous auditors, Lara Taylor-Pearce and her Deputy, Tamba Momoh, continue to face suspension and a Government tribunal. They were suspended in 2021 by His Excellency Julius Maada Bio after their audit exposed several irregularities within the Office of the President. Both Taylor-Pearce and Momoh have denied the allegations of misconduct that led to their suspension.

The Budget Advocacy Network (BAN), a financial transparency and accountability advocacy group, has been persistently urging the President to reverse his decision. They argue that the suspensions have caused a significant derailment of audit accountability architecture in Sierra Leone.

The 1991 Constitution of Sierra Leone mandates the Auditor-General to audit the Public Accounts of Sierra Leone and all public offices, as per Section 119(2). Additionally, Section 119(4) requires the Auditor-General to submit his report to Parliament within twelve months of the end of the financial year, highlighting any irregularities in the audited accounts.

The Audit Service Sierra Leone (ASSL) remains committed to promoting excellence and accountability in public institutions. The 2022 Audit Report will soon be available on the ASSL website after its presentation in Parliament.


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