Freetown, SIERRA LEONE – In a recent audit assessment conducted by the Audit Service Sierra Leone, the Ministry of Defence came under scrutiny for the operational effectiveness of its Joint Logistic Unit (JLU) and Joint Medical Unit (JMU).
The audit revealed significant lapses in the operational infrastructure of the Joint Logistic Unit. Despite reports to the chain of command regarding the need for refurbishment of the Supply Service Squadron storage facilities, no visible actions were taken by management. The auditors discovered leaky roofs and floors at the Joint Logistic Unit Ordinance in Murray Town, coupled with fire extinguishers lacking essential tags for servicing information.
Furthermore, the petroleum oil and lubricant storage facilities, including the filling station, fuel pump machine, and shipping containers for lubricant storage, were found to be in a deplorable state. Cracks on walls, damaged shipping containers, and deteriorating surface layer concrete hosting underground tanks were observed. The roof of the facility was also damaged. The auditors recommended that the Director General secure funds from the Ministry of Finance and promptly address the identified defects at the JLU.
At the Joint Medical Unit, specifically the 34 Military Hospital, critical deficiencies were noted. The Triage Department lacked an automated system for capturing the data of military personnel and their beneficiaries, and there was a conspicuous absence of a utility vehicle, with the ambulance being used for non-emergency purposes.
The audit team found a shortage of drugs at the pharmacy, with essential medications like paracetamol unavailable since August 2022. Moreover, key facilities such as the x-ray room, ECG (electrocardiogram) room, and one haematology analyzer for studying blood disorders were non-functional during the review period and remained so at the time of the report.
Despite these issues, a substantial amount of SLE53,752.55 was disbursed to a service provider for medical services due to faulty equipment. The JMU also received a monthly running cost totalling SLE1,200,000 for the period under review.
The auditors recommended urgent intervention, urging the Commanding Officer to collaborate with the Director General to address the identified issues promptly for enhanced service delivery. Despite these recommendations, there was no official response or evidence of management addressing the findings from both units during the audit verification, leaving the issues unresolved. ZIJ/9/2/2024