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Sierra Leone: Financial Secretary responds to 2018 audit report

19 December 2019 at 19:45 | 2182 views

I would like to present on behalf of the Minister of Finance, Hon Jacob Jusu Saffa, and the Economic Management Team, our profound gratitude to the Auditor General and her Team for submitting the 2018 Annual Audit Report to Parliament on time, as stipulated by the Constitution and the Public Financial Management Act.

We are most gratified that the Public Accounts of 2018 has been given an UNQUALIFIED Audit Opinion. An unqualified audit opinion on the financial statements of an institution or government provided by certified Auditors represents a professional and independent opinion that the financial statements as presented gives a True and Fair view of monies received and expenditures undertaken during the course of the year.

In the Auditor General’s Statement, she warmly recognized and stated: “I would like to acknowledge the Government for its commitment to the continuous public financial management reforms which are aimed at further enhancing same in Sierra Leone”. Thus, commending the Government for its continued effort in improving the basis for which public officials are spending and accounting for use of tax payers money and raising concerns of public interest is demonstration of the Auditors fairness and independence in assessing government financial management.

Despite these efforts, the Auditor General, like in many other institutional audits - particularly audit of public accounts across the world, has raised serious concerns of loss of revenue of Le140.9 billion (about $14.0 million or 0.02 percent of the total 2018 Budget).

We commend the Auditor General for bringing these and other issues to the fore and we (as fiduciary agent of the Government) will work with Parliament and key stakeholders, including the individual persons and Ministries, Departments and Agencies, to implement the Auditor General’s recommendations and address all salient issues raised. Overall, we commend the role of Parliament in their oversight in ensuring that public funds are used rationally with the principles of equity, transparency and accountability. This is also clearly stated in the Auditor General’s report that “In my effort to use the knowledge gained through audit engagements to improve public administration, I sought and developed strategic relationships with the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) and other parliamentary oversight bodies, providing them with insight and information to enable them execute their respective mandates”.
We commit to remain a Transparent and Accountable Government in the management of State resources, ensuring fiscal discipline, probity and accountability for Human Capital Development and job creation.

Have a wonderful 2019 Christmas and New Year festive season

Sahr L Jusu
Financial Secretary of the Republic of Sierra Leone