Freetown, SIERRA LEONE – The effective delivery of services within the Bo district has been significantly limited due to a ‘stop-payment order (garnishee order)’ issued by the High Court on the accounts of the Bo City Council. The Auditor General’s 2022 Annual Report highlights the consequences of this legal directive on the council’s ability to access funds for crucial service delivery.
According to the audit team, the Primary Health Care (PHC) faced challenges in accessing funds allocated for its annual work plan and budget due to the court order. Despite an allocation of SLE278,050 in FY2022, the PHC could only access SLE151,954 because of the restrictions imposed by the garnishee order.
The Auditor General emphasized that this financial constraint prevented the PHC from carrying out essential activities outlined in its annual work plan for 2022. To address this issue, the Auditor General recommended collaboration between the District Medical Officer (DMO), the Chief Administrator of the Bo City Council, the Local Government Finance Department, and the Ministry of Health and Sanitation (MOHS) to ensure adequate budgetary support for the PHC, facilitating effective health service delivery.
In addition, the Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education in Bo District faced similar challenges, as it was allocated SLE179,112.92 in government grants for two quarters in FY2022 through the Bo City Council. However, the High Court order, which halted payments from all accounts maintained by the Bo City Council, prevented the Ministry from accessing these funds. Consequently, the Ministry was unable to execute its annual work plan, impacting education service delivery in the district.
The Auditor General’s report underscores the need for a resolution to the legal constraints on the Bo City Council’s accounts to ensure uninterrupted and effective service delivery in crucial sectors such as health and education within the Bo district. ZIJ/31/1/2024