These losses, the Report revealed, are in respect of Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs), Public Enterprises (PEs) and Local Councils (LCs). MDAs Le56,176,233,168, PEs Le66,298,388,310, LCs Le18,520,280,090, totaling Le140,994,901,568.
The Report further revealed that these losses do not include cash irregularities from embassies and other diplomatic missions and that the total cash losses and irregularities noted during the period amounted to Le56.2 billion.
These cash losses, which cut across MDAs, the Report went on, were mainly attributable to unsupported payments, revenue not banked, irregularities in payment of salaries to staff, statutory deductions not paid to the appropriate authorities, irregularities in payment of DSAs and other allowances, unexplained expenditure, payments without approval and expenditure returns not submitted, fuel not accounted for, imprest not retired, stores and fixed assets irregularities.
The Report further analysis that irregularities in payment of salaries Le4,384,950,940, irregularities in payment for travels, DSAs & other allowances Le1,528,298,810, unsupported payments & other funds not accounted for Le18,708,699,304, unexplained expenditures, payment without approval & expenditure returns not submitted Le22,267,935,226, imprest not retired Le1,113,548,001, fuel not accounted for Le2,704,734,000, revenue not banked and other revenue related issues Le2,414,447,492, statutory deductions not paid to the relevant authorities Le2,946,619,395, stores and fixed assets irregularities Le107,000,000 all totaling Le56,176,233,168.
In addition to the above cash losses, the report found out that payment for goods, works and services, which amounted to Le2.5 billion were not supported by adequate documentation (unreceipted payments). This means that some of the requested supporting documents in respect of these payments were not submitted for our review.
The Report also observed several significant lapses in the procurement of goods, works and services which amounted to Le257.1 billion. This according to the Report, might have been due to lack of commitment on the part of MDAs to ensure compliance with rules and legislation governing the procurement process. This practice does not ensure transparency in the procurement process.
The Report according to Lara Taylor-Pearce the country’s Auditor General, summarises the results of the financial, compliance and performance audit works undertaken on by staff of the Audit Service Sierra Leone (ASSL), adding that it deals primarily with the 2018 accounts of central government bodies.
However, she hastily noted, the Report does not include the results of the technical audits and special assignments carried out during the period, as they have been presented to Parliament as special reports in line with her constitutional mandate.