In the Office of The Chief Minister, a review of the 2019 payroll vouchers and the current staff list by the team from Audit Service Sierra Leone (ASSL) revealed that there are members of staff whose names are on the payroll voucher but not on the staff list.
The said staff were paid a total gross salary of Le1.49 billion (Le1,493,740,746.) This prompted the Auditor General (AG) to state that “There is a risk that salaries were being paid to ineligible personnel and may have led to a drain in government funds.”
AG requested the Director of Administration and Finance to provide documentary evidence explaining why staff on the payroll are not on the institution’s staff list.
The Director, Administration stated in his official response that the payroll administration is being managed by the Human Resource Management Office (HRMO) and the Accountant General’s Department (AGD) and as such, they do not have direct control over it. “Correspondences have been sent to the responsible institutions charged to manage payroll related anomalies.”
In the Auditor General’s final comment she noted that during the verification exercise, her team were not provided documentary evidence explaining why staff on payroll were not on the staff list, and “The issue therefore remained unresolved.”
It was also observed that the sum of Le112 million (Le112,810,188.25) was expended for local travelling for staff to the regions on official activities. However, payment vouchers were not provided with supporting documents such as signatures of recipients and back-to-office reports as required by the FMR. The AG remarked, “Monies may not have been expended for their intended purposes. We recommend that the Director of Finance should submit all the required supporting documents for inspection. Otherwise, the said amount should be refunded into the Consolidated Fund” she concluded.
The Permanent Secretary in response stated that relevant documents such as signature of recipient and back-to-office report to substantiate local travelling amounting to Le112,810,188.25 are available for inspection by the ASSL.
During the audit verification, supporting documents for a total amount of Le86.9 million (Le 86,962,137) out of queried amount were submitted and verified. The balance of Le34.5 million (Le34,544,288) remained not supported. “Therefore, the issue remains unresolved.”