The 2020 Auditor General´s Report has revealed that 99 personnel were recruited by Sierra Leone Port Authority (SLPA) through the backdoor during the period under review.

Documents such as Job Advertisement, application letters, invitation letters to attend interviews, interview scoresheets, police clearance reports, medical reports and reference letters to confirm that the recruitment process was open, fair and credible, and in accordance with section 5.3 of the Authority´s terms and conditions of services were not provided.

The General Manager (GM) in collaboration with the Human Resources Director should ensure that the adverts for recruitment, application letters, invitations to attend interviews, interview score sheets and references for successfully recruited staffs, are submitted to the Audit Service for verification. In future, the authority was advised to ensure that all records relating to recruitments and selection of successful application are retained for audit or reference purposes.

The GM in his response said the SLPA is a public enterprise governed by the National Commission for privatization Act of 2002.

Accordingly, 13 (1) a (1): ´As from the commencement of this act, the appointment of persons as members of a public enterprise shall be made by the commission. Therefore paragraph (1) above provides for the appointment of members to Public Enterprise by the commission. In the instance therefore, the said appointments were made by the commission in reliance on those mentioned above. For ease of reference, schedule 1 of the above mentioned Act lists the Sierra Leone Ports Authority as a public enterprise. Furthermore, a large opinion on the subject matter is available for Audit inspection.

The Auditors noted management´s comment that as Auditors, they expect management to ensure that the Authority´s recruitment policies are always adhered to irrespective of the recruiting body. Therefore, the recruiting body, in this case, the National Commission for privatization, should have followed due process in recruiting the 99 staffs.

Allowing staffs to be recruited without going through due recruitment processes exposes the Authority to recruiting staffs without the required job knowledge and experience and prohibits competition. “Our recommendation was not implemented. The issues therefore remained unresolved” noted the Auditors.

In another development, one of the Authority´s buildings situated at the Kissy Terminal with a net book value of le 171,728,250 was demolished. The board´s resolution granting approval for the demolition of the building was neither seen nor submitted for Audit review.

The Auditors recommended that the General Manager, should submit the board´s approval authorizing the demolition of the building to Audit Service for verification.

The General Manager in his response, said management strove to maintain adequate internal controls in the management of it´s noncurrent and that Board´s approval sanctioning the use of the site for the development of the Kissy Ferry Terminal are available for Audit Review. Furthermore he noted that developing lease agreement, final assessment of the Kissy Terminal development projects and physical sites containing new structures are available for audit review.