Sierra Leone: The Standards Bureau in 2019 responded to an audit query that the Ministry of Finance (MoF) is withholding Destination Inspection Funds for the past two years without any valid reasons.
The Bureau was queried by the Auditor General for the year under review that there was no Operational Plan and, in his response, the Executive Director highlighted the above among other issues were the reasons for not implementing their Operational Plan in Financial Year 2019.
According to him, the operational plan was not implemented as a result of resource constraints. The Bureau presented a budget of Le26 billion to the MoF but only Le3.5 billion was approved. “The Bureau as a capital-intensive institution cannot carry out most of its activities because of the following constraints.”
He said that they had planned to extend the Bureau to the provinces and major entry points by establishing offices in these areas. This he says will ensure the presence of Bureau staff in strategic areas of the country to monitor the quality of import and exports.
“Over the years, the country has experienced the entry of sub-standard or counterfeit goods mainly through the porous unmanned border posts. With the recruitment and deployment of Scientific Officers and other Technical staff to mann the official entry points, the influx of sub-standard/expired goods into the country will be drastically reduced if not eliminated” he said.
He stressed, the need for continuous staff training was identified and captured in the 2019 Budget. Construction of an Administrative Building, settlement of obligations to the International Standards Organisations, provision of logistics, vehicles, motor cycles to enhance mobility and effective implementation of the Bureau’s activities among other activities.
The Auditor General stated in her comment that Management’s response in relation to their Operational Plan is noted.
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