MDAs are dragging feet to implement the Auditor General’s Report – Fin. Sec. Jusu
SIERRA LEONE, Freetown: Financial Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Sahr Lahai Jusu, on Friday 3rd December 2021 disclosed that the Sierra Leone’s Country Policy and Institutional Assessment (CPIA) is stagnating at 3.1, noting that it was time for the Ministry to do an assessment on where the country will be in 2021.
He said the CPIA for 2013 was 3.3, and in 2018 it was 3.1 and 3.1 again in 2020 after an assessment was done.
Sahr Jusu said this at the New Brookfield’s Hotel on Jomo Kenyatta Road in Freetown during a one day workshop on the implementation of the 2021 CPIA with attendees from various Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and the World Bank.
Jusu blames it squarely on MDAs whom he said have not been very cooperative with regards implementing the Auditor General’s report. He spoke highly of the new finance act which he said gives the Ministry of Finance the power to check MDAs to ascertain if they have implemented the Auditor General’s Report.
“In 2018 only 24% of the Auditor General’s report was implemented, whiles in 2019, only 23% was implemented, those partly implemented is about 55%,” he revealed. He said countries that moved upward are at a better chance of attracting more money than those that do not.
He said as a government, they will now closely monitor these MDAs and institute some administrative measures which were enacted in the new Finance Act of 2021. He threatened that remuneration of personnel’s who do not implement the Auditor General’s report will be suspended, as per the Act.
“In 2022, after the Auditor General’s report would have been launched, we will come out with a public statement, and after 30 days, if there is no response from the person that is responsible for that action, we will automatically suspend the salary of that person,” he went on.
He said the rationale behind the retreat was to look at the status of the implementation and put together evidence and then report on it, for according to Jusu the lack of reporting on the CPIA has impacted the country negatively.
He disclosed that the CPIA is the principal tool that is used by the World Bank to distribute resources among countries based on performance; hence there was need for an assessment on progress made so far.
In his own remarks, Chief Economist, Ministry of Finance, Alimamy Bangura, reiterated that the CPIA plays a critical role in the allocation of resources by the World Bank. “Somehow, either because of the difficulty of reporting on the progress made in terms of implementation of the CPIA we are stagnated at 3.1,” he said.
He spoke highly of some reform which he said they should implement for the year 2021 in order for the country to improve its score in the CPIA. He said the Ministry has been providing both technical and financial resources to facilitate the implementation process.
Bangura said the workshop was for them to take stock of where the country is in terms of progress implementation. He added that as a Ministry, they have to make sure that they implement all the reforms they have agreed on, for without which the country’s score will continue to stagnate at 3.1. “Once we implement all the reforms that we have agreed on, our score will improve and we will get more resources,” he said.
World Bank representative, Kemoh Mansaray, said he was delighted that the Ministry of Finance took it at heart to see how they can implement certain reforms which they have agreed on in order for them to attract more resources from the World Bank.
He opined that the workshop demonstrates government’s commitment to the CPIA, which he said evaluates the quality of a country’s policy that promotes sustainable environment, and make way for inclusive growth and reduce poverty.
He pointed out that the CPIA enhances increased resources, sustainable growth and shared prosperity in a country as well as contributing to human capital development, and service delivery for the poor and vulnerable.
While Mansaray disclosed that the World Bank looks forward to continued collaboration, he urged MDAs to be providing information which he said is very crucial to the CPIA, for according to him, some of the experts that do the assessment may not be in country, hence the need to tell the story in order to showcase what the country has done. SKS/6/12/2021