Speaking at the ceremony, the Auditor General Lara Taylor-Pearce described the Audit Service as watchdog of the public purse. She said members of the public are concerned about issues of transparency and accountability in the public sector, noting that the two institutions should continue to work together to curb misuse of public resources.
The Auditor General said the MoU will ensure that suspected acts of corruption detected during audit exercises are reported to the ACC immediately. “If these two institutions work together, we will make huge gains in securing public funds”, Mrs. Taylor-Pearce noted.
The Commissioner of ACC Ady Macauley Esq. also stressed that the “call for transparency and accountability from the public is getting louder,” noting that “action must be taken” to address the misuse of state resources. He made reference to the Anti-Corruption Act 2008, which provides for the Commission to collaborate with other agencies, adding that the ‘complementarily principle’ in the fight against corruption calls for support from all sectors. The ACC Commissioner said if the two institutions work together public confidence will be strengthened.
Earlier, while speaking on the objective of the MoU, Deputy Auditor General Tamba Momoh said that though the mandates of the two institutions are different, they share similar objectives- to protect public funds from misuse. He said the signing of the MoU at this time of the year will put the two institutions on a good footing at the start of 2018.
The MoU provides for the two institutions to “collaborate with one another to ensure that any request made by one party, to the other shall be promptly attended to.” The MoU also states that: “In the conduct of an Audit or a review, where the Audit Service Sierra Leone is of the opinion that fraud or financial malfeasance has occurred, the Audit Service SL shall duly inform the ACC for on-the-spot intervention prior to the submission of the said Audit Report in line with Section 78 (1) (d) of the Anti-Corruption Act 2008.”