Ibrahim Sannoh, Executive Director
Annual Report by the Auditor General on the Accounts of Sierra Leone for 2019 has revealed that a total of Le14, 831, 129, 918 (Fourteen billion, Eight hundred and thirty-one million, One hundred and twenty-nine thousand, nine hundred and eighteen Leones) had been unaccounted for by the Sierra Leone Road Safety Authority (SLRSA) since 2018.
According to the Report, Comparison between revenue recorded in the general ledger and amounts reported per the Management Information System (MIS) database for the different stations showed a difference of Le11, 060,337,772 (Eleven billion, sixty million, three hundred and thirty-seven thousand, seven hundred and seventy-two Leones) the period under review. Unconnectedly, Inadequate Supporting Documents Payments totalling Le3, 656,411,823 ( Three billion, six hundred and fifty-six million, four hundred and eleven thousand, eight hundred and twenty-three Leones) that were made to suppliers and contractors for the period under review lacked salient supporting documents such as delivery notes, back-to-office report, invoices, receipt etc.
These supporting documents were not attached to the payment vouchers that were submitted for audit. Missing documents such as receipts, invoices, delivery notes, back-to-office report etc. were submitted for payments totalling Le1,872,339,852; but payments totalling Le1, 784, 071, 971 were, however, without adequate supporting documents, leaving the issue partly resolved.
In another detection of congruity, the report exposes that procurement documents (such as agreements, advertisements and signed bidding documents, minutes of the bid evaluation committee, evaluation reports etc.) relating to procurements undertaken worth Le1, 986, 720, 175 were not provided for audit inspection.
Also, the agreement which contains the basis of computing the commissions due from license plates printed was not made available/submitted for audit inspection. Besides, a schedule and supporting documents detailing the number of license plates printed, the amount obtained and commissions due/paid to the Authority were not submitted for audit.
In addition, the Authority failed to comply with procurement thresholds stipulated in Sections 40, 44 and the first schedule of the Public Procurement Act of 2016. The procurement of equipment and consumables totalling Le 487, 616, 500 was through the Requests for Quotation method instead of the National Competitive Bidding method.
Procurement of similar items of consumables worth Le 635, 532, 500 was divided among suppliers on diverse dates during the period under review. The report says had adequate procurement planning been carried out, those consumables would have been procured through the National Competitive Bidding method with a framework contract being developed but that was not the case as rather the other method, Requests for Quotations method was used, thereby evading the procurement threshold as stipulated in Section 37 (2) of the Public Procurement Act of 2016.
The Auditor-General’s report also accused the Authority of having ‘No Strategic Plan’. What is meant by ‘A Strategic Plan?’ According to the Audit Service, it is a document that articulates both the decisions made about the Authority’s goals and how they will achieve those goals.
The report says it is ideal for most organisations to prepare strategic plans three to five years ahead but that was not the case with SLRSA as it was observed that the organisation did not have a strategic plan.