According to the GTT Report, the EPA amongst other things has a routine system to check on the attendance and timely report of work of its staff and that in itself aids the capacity of the institution to adequately respond to its mandate. The following were observed as findings during the visit as well as the report sent to the Committee:
It states that the EPA has a total of 98 staff of which the Executive Chairperson has a statutory term of years limit; 54 are permanent staff and the rest are either temporal, contract and/or graduate interns or volunteers. It was observed that the top management of the EPA is not regionally balanced. Staff of the institution are however professional with full capacity to fulfill its mandate. Women account for 26% for the institution’s staffing.
Some recommendations made by the GTTR are that they (EPA) should align projects with government priorities and that there are available funds from international agencies to undertake such work.
That the institution has not received funding from the government since 2013 but that the institution has wholly maintained itself from funds generated within its work and from donor funds. That the Ministry of Finance has for the last 10 years not met the requirements/ or not done the necessaries in order for the institution (EPA) to be given a 12 million dollars fund from the Adaptation Funds which is seated in its account for such use.
The EPA, according to the report has not been found guilty, for the last 4 years either by the Auditor General’s or any other oversight agency for any mismanagement or financial discrepancies.
That they (EPA) appreciate the ban on timber logging and that they as an institution have no role to play on timber regulation. That a host of policies have been sent to the Ministry of Justice for review and or advice for subsequent legislations or otherwise, but that no due consideration has been given to same.
The team also found that the Assets Register of EPA is up-to-date and advised that a review of top management in relation to regional balance would be helpful.
It added that the EPA needs to submit all funds to the Consolidated Fund as required by the Constitution of Sierra Leone and then be funded by agreed government subventions.
The government should restructure or streamline its environment protection policies with global environment projects/needs. Urgent consideration should be given to the policies sent to the Justice Ministry. An urgent review should be conducted of critical economic development projects currently being obstructed by EPA.
That there is need to regulate artisanal mining which is under the purview of the Ministry of Mines in order to curb environment hazards. That there is need to have an Environmental Protection Court; that the Ministry of Finance needs to urgently consider meeting the requirements for securing the Adaptation Funds.