Freetown, SIERRA LEONE – The recently conducted audit for the year 2022 uncovered a concerning issue as auditors faced restrictions accessing 13 offices within the Sierra Leone Airports Authority (SLAA). Accompanied by SLAA staff, the auditors initiated a physical inspection of newly acquired and existing assets, but encountered obstacles when they were unable to gain entry to these offices.
Upon inquiry with the head of finance, the Acting Auditor General disclosed that former employees of the Authority had allegedly withheld keys to these 13 offices, citing unpaid end-of-service benefits as the reason for their action. The auditors recommended that the General Manager take prompt action to retrieve the keys from the former employees, enabling the Audit Service Sierra Leone (ASSL) to conduct a thorough physical verification of the assets.
In response, SLAA management informed the auditors that keys to the offices of current SLAA staff were readily available, but those belonging to former staff were still in the possession of the individuals, rendering them unavailable.
During the verification exercise, access to the cashier’s office was granted, allowing the auditors to physically verify assets and cross-reference them with the inventory list to confirm their presence. However, the challenge persisted with the remaining 12 offices, as the keys were not made available during the exercise. The issue remains unresolved, raising questions about the overall security and transparency of the asset verification process within the Sierra Leone Airports Authority. ZIJ/9/1/2024