In spite of repeated requests, the audit team from Audit Service Sierra Leone was not given access by the storekeeper of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry to physically inspect and verify the Ministry’s resources at the central store in Kissy.
In addition, critical store documents such as allocated store ledgers, approved requisitions for certified seed rice and other assorted farm inputs were not available for audit inspection.
According to the team, proper store records they say may not have been maintained or items in store may not have been used for their intended purposes which may result in loss to the government.
After it was recommended that the Permanent Secretary in collaboration with the storekeeper should ensure that the audit team have them without further delay, they eventual made available the stores for inspection and verification of records.
During the inspection, internal controls, storage condition and also physical verification it was observed that seven of 64 Yamaha motorbikes handed over to the Ministry by the Integrated Health Projects Administration Unit (IHPAU) were not available for physical verification.
Two solar fridges, two solar freezers, four solar panels, 10 solar batteries, 10 ice boxes transferred to the Ministry by the BAFS Project were not available for physical verification and that Warehouse No.2 was in a dilapidated state and abandoned by the Ministry without any indication of efforts to rehabilitate the storage facility to accommodate deliveries of critical farm inputs procured by the Ministry.
There was also no indication of proper recording of 62 bags of cashew seeds delivered to the stores from Comcashew in Ghana. The items were not taken on ledger charge and there was no trace of approved requests and store issue vouchers to indicate how these items were utilised by intended beneficiaries.
Eight of 25 Feed Mill machines delivered to stores by the Small Holder Commercialisation Programme were not available for physical verification. There was no indication of effective supervision of stores operations. It was also observed that the substantive storekeeper is in charge of other stores at the Accountant-General’s Department and Ministry of Finance, and therefore does not properly carry out his functions at the Kissy Central Stores.