Freetown, SIERRA LEONE – An audit conducted by the Audit Service Sierra Leone (ASSL) has revealed that the Government is owed an outstanding US$429,627 (approximately SLE8,010,395,415) in unpaid royalties by Netpage, the third-party representative of HID CID Limited. The royalties pertain to passports produced in 2022.
According to the Auditor General’s report, the contract change note specified that HID CID Limited, the contractor, was obligated to pay a royalty of 8% per sale of each e-passport to the Government of Sierra Leone. This is in contrast to Section 1 (1.4) of the contract change note No. SID1178.008, which outlined that from January to December 2022, the approved royalty payment of 8% per sale of each e-passport should be paid to the Government by Netpage.
The ASSL recommended that the Executive Director of Netpage expedite the payment of the outstanding royalty into the Consolidated Fund and submit evidence of payment to the ASSL.
In response, the Immigration Department stated, “Royalties are paid directly to the Consolidated Fund. There are ongoing negotiations with Netpage and the Ministry of Finance on the outstanding amount for the period under review.”
Despite these negotiations, evidence of the payment of outstanding royalties to the Government by Netpage was not presented during audit verification. The Auditor General noted that the issue remains unresolved. ZIJ/17/1/2024