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Sierra Leone

Audit Report (SL0016)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Not Attached

Action Plan Cycle: 2016

Status: Inactive

Institutions

Lead Institution: Audit Service Sierra Leone

Support Institution(s): MOFED, MOHS, MEST, MHWI, MAFFS and PMSD, ACC; Budget Advocacy Network Transparency International Youth Coalition Education for All Network Movement for Justice and Development

Policy Areas

Audits and Controls, Capacity Building, Open Contracting and Procurement, Oversight of Budget/Fiscal Policies

IRM Review

IRM Report: Sierra Leone Mid-Term Report 2016-2018

Starred: No

Early Results: Pending IRM Review

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Access to Information

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion:

Description

Status quo or problem/ issue to be addressed
Majority of the recommendations of the Auditor General's report were not implemented and public officials most times go unpunished resulting in the loss of government resources which would have been used to provide services for the people of Sierra Leone. Also, the report of the PAC on the Auditor General’s report is not made available online.
Main objective
Increase compliance with audit measures to improve transparency and accountability in public resource spending
Brief Description of Commitment (140 character limit)
This commitment seeks to improve compliance with procurement related recommendations from the Audit Service and the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee report published online.

IRM Midterm Status Summary

5. Auditor General’s Report

Commitment Text:

This commitment seeks to improve compliance with procurement related recommendations from the Audit Service and the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee report published online.

Milestones: 3 MDAs (MOHS, MHWI and MOFED) implement 50% of procurement related recommendation of the Auditor General’s reports 2014 and 2015 and the Audit Service publish the status of the recommendation in their audit report; MDAs to develop action plans to show how they are going to implement the recommendation and these plans are to be published. Each plan should be submitted together with the progress report on the implementation of the recommendation of the 2014 Auditor General's report; 50% of the special procurement audit reports conducted by the Audit Service Sierra Leone for 2015 implemented by MEST and MAFFS; Publish the reports of the 2014 and 2015 Parliamentary Audit Committees online.

Responsible institution: Audit Service

Supporting institution(s): Ministry of Finance and Economic Development (MOFED), Ministry of Health and Sanitation (MOHS), Ministry of Education Science and Technology (MEST), Ministry of Housing, Works, and Infrastructure (MHWI), Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), Performance Management and Service Delivery (PMSD), Transparency International, Budget Advocacy Network, Education for All, National Youth Coalition, Network Movement for Justice and Development.

Start date: July 2016 End date: June 2018

Context and Objectives

The Audit Service of Sierra Leone is the office responsible for auditing accounts of all public institutions with oversight by the Auditor General.[Note89: Mandate and Framework, http://www.auditservice.gov.sl/organisation-1st.html ] An annual report from the previous year is required by law to be submitted to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) in Parliament within 12 months of the end of the current fiscal year. Each report includes an overview of accounting and financial management along with specific recommendations. Implementation rate of recommendations by the Audit Service to improve the management of public finances has been low. According to a 2015 analysis looking at eight significant government entities, including the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, there was a combined recommendation implementation rate of only 28.8 percent.[Note90: Transmittal Letter, http://www.auditservice.gov.sl/report/assl-auditor-general-annual-report-2015.pdf ]

The first national action plan for 2014-2016 included a commitment to take action to address this issue by publishing a white paper highlighting specific ways to implement the recommendations, a policy paper to expedite audit report publishing and proposed a 50 percent implementation goal for all ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs). At the end of the implementation of the first action plan, no white paper was published nor did the government achieve the 50 percent recommendations implementation target. The policy paper was never made public to verify the extent to which it fulfilled the activity.[Note91: Sierra Leone, End of Term Report, https://www.opengovpartnership.org/sites/default/files/Sierra-Leone_EOTR_2014-2016_for-public-comment.pdf]

This commitment from the current action plan expands on the previous efforts by focusing on specific activities to enhance the recommendation implementation rate. All MDAs are expected to develop an action plan that outlines specific ways each will implement the recommendations on procurement. Instead of providing an overarching goal for all entities, there is a 50 percent implementation rate for specific ministries (MOHS, MHWI, MOFED, MEST and MAFFS). There is also an activity to publish information from the PACs. When fully implemented, the commitment will have a moderate impact on opening up information to the public on government institutions’ compliance with audit recommendations.

Completion

There has been no progress on the implementation of this commitment. An official of the Audit Department could not provide detailed information about the implementation rates of MDAs or specifically the MEST and MAFFS and explained the 2016 audit report would have the details, but was still in the process of being completed.[Note92: IRM researcher’s interview of the Information, Education and Communication Officer (Audit Service Sierra Leone), 3 October 2017.] As of the time of writing this report, no MDA submitted to the audit service details their plans on how audit recommendations would be implemented, as confirmed by an official of the institution.[Note93: IRM researcher’s interview of the Information, Education and Communication Officer (Audit Service Sierra Leone), 3 October 2017.] The Audit Department did not provide any template to guide MDAs for developing action plans or any special support.[Note94: IRM researcher’s interview of the Information, Education and Communication Officer (Audit Service Sierra Leone), 3 October 2017.] Previous audit reports are not available online.

The head of a civil society organisation involved with public finance advocacy noted that no information has been shared with civil society and everyone has been told to wait until the publishing of the report.[Note95: IRM researcher’s interview of Executive Director, Open Tax Initiative, 28 November 2017.]

Next Steps

The IRM Researcher recommends the following actions:

The Audit Service can support MDA efforts by providing general action plan outlines that serve as guidance towards their development.

The Auditor General’s 2016 audit report on the implementation of audit recommendations needs be published online.

MDAs’ plans for implementing audit recommendations, once they are developed, need to be publicly disclosed.

Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee needs to put its 2014 and 2015 reports online.


Sierra Leone's Commitments

  1. Gender

    SL0012, 2016, Capacity Building

  2. Foriegn Aid Transparency

    SL0013, 2016, Aid

  3. Waste Management

    SL0014, 2016, Capacity Building

  4. Fiscal Transparency and Open Budget

    SL0015, 2016, E-Government

  5. Audit Report

    SL0016, 2016, Audits and Controls

  6. Climate Change

    SL0017, 2016, Capacity Building

  7. Elections

    SL0018, 2016, E-Government

  8. Record Archive Management

    SL0019, 2016, E-Government

  9. Access to Justice

    SL0020, 2016, Capacity Building

  10. Open Public Procurement Contracting

    SL0021, 2016, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  11. Publish and Revise 70% of Mining and Agricultural Lease Agreements and Contracts

    SL0009, 2014, E-Government

  12. Starred commitment Right to Access Information Law

    SL0010, 2014, Capacity Building

  13. Open Data Portal for Transparency in Fiscal and Extractive Transactions

    SL0011, 2014, E-Government

  14. Public Integrity Pact with 5 Ministries, Departments, and Agencies

    SL0001, 2014, Conflicts of Interest

  15. Archives and Records Management Act

    SL0002, 2014, E-Government

  16. Scale Up Performance Management and Service Delivery Directorate

    SL0003, 2014, Public Participation

  17. Compliance with Audit Measures

    SL0004, 2014, Audits and Controls

  18. Starred commitment Single Treasure Account

    SL0005, 2014, Extractive Industries

  19. Extractive Industry Revenue Act

    SL0006, 2014, Extractive Industries

  20. Scaling Up Extractive Industry Transparency Initiatives

    SL0007, 2014, Extractive Industries

  21. Local Content Policy (LCP) Linkages with MDAs

    SL0008, 2014, Capacity Building