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Sierra Leone News: “We were challenged at the EOC…” KPMG explains to Parliament

Accounting firm, KPMG, has explained to Members of Parliament and the Public Account Committee for the Audit Report Hearings why its staff withdrew pro-bono services to the Emergency Operation Center (EOC) during the ebola response.
The Senior Partner of KPMG, Vidal Decker, told the Committee that they were seriously challenged by lapses relating to improper procurements, financial mismanagement and other fiduciary matters at both the Ministry of Health and Sanitation and the Ministry of Transport and Aviation. KPMG provided services for free, valued at $135,000, at the height of the ebola response. The auditing firm was quickly withdrawn in the interest of maintaining the institution’s credibility.
According to Decker, KPMG’s involvement in the ebola response followed a call from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development on the 22nd of August last year. But because they were not afforded the environment necessary for the operation of an accountancy firm, they withdrew their service, despite the activities that had been planned.
In the short time KPMG were involved with the EOC, they provided accountancy and auditing services.  However, it became apparent that their professional service(s) were not solicited at any point in the procurement of ambulances, used vehicles for burial purposes and fiduciary engagements undertaken by the EOC.
The National Coordinator for the EOC, Steven Ngaojia said that indeed the KPMG complained to him about their poor working environment and their non-involvement in processes that required their expertise. This, according to him, includes the procurement of used vehicles and ambulances by the Ministry of Health and Sanitation through the Ministry of Transport and Aviation.
By Poindexter Sama
Friday March 20, 2015

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