The Public Accounts Committee of Parliament on Monday 10th June 2024, during investigation of the Auditor’s General Report, has charged officials from the Ministry of Finance with failing to meet financial management standards as recommended by the Audit Service Sierra Leone.

During the investigation process, committee members expressed strong concerns that payments were being made without proper documentation, a practice they deemed unacceptable for a ministry tasked with overseeing public financial management.

Hon. Aaron while making his contributing statement criticized the Ministry of Finance, stating that the Ministry of Finance being the administrator of the Public Finance Management Acts should not engage in such act. “As the administrator of the Public Financial Management Act, such lapses should not be occurring. Proper accountability should prevent such irregularities. If the lead ministry exhibits these issues, what can be expected of other ministries?”.

Jacob T. Sesay, Deputy Director of Budget, defended the ministry, noting that some documents had been submitted to the Audit Service, though the overall budget explanation was incomplete.

Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Hon. Ibrahim Tawa Conteh emphasized that auditors consistently request supporting documentation as proof of expenditure, which the ministry failed to provide adequately.

Morrie Lansana, Principal Auditor of the Audit Service Sierra Leone, confirmed that while some documents were submitted, two of the seven compliance audits on budget and budgeting control were unsatisfactory. The lack of sufficient explanations was highlighted in the report.

The Committee discovered that the Ministry had overspent beyond its allocated budget. Consequently, the Public Accounts Committee mandated that the ministry provide the necessary explanatory documents by the next sitting today, Tuesday June 11th, 2021. Failure to comply would result in legal action for immediate repayment.