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Sierra Leone Business: Ministry of Defence failed to submit 18 accounts for audit

The state watchdog has faulted the Ministry of Defence for failing to submit bank statements for 18 bank accounts from the 24 bank accounts with six different banks listed by the incoming Senior Accountant during their 2016 audit.
With the exception of the two Peace Support Mission bank accounts, bank reconciliation statements and cashbooks were not submitted for 22 bank accounts maintained by the Ministry.
The Auditor General’s Annual 2016 report, recommended that the Senior Accountant should submit the bank statements, cash books and bank reconciliation statements in respect of these accounts.
Even though the Director General mentioned that the required bank statements, cash books and bank reconciliation statements were available for audit inspection, the Auditors never received it.
Issues of long outstanding loans totalling US$10,710 and Le67,422,490 was said to have been overdue (between six and eight months) without evidence of good cause and actions taken to recover them.
In addition to loans to personnel without repayment date, it was observed that the sum of US$4,285 were given to various personnel but the loan forms reviewed had no repayment dates.
It was also recommended that the Treasurer should ensure that action was taken to contact the debtors in order to set the repayment dates for loans and evidence of such action taken should be submitted for audit inspection, which was never submitted by the end of audit.
The audit further discovered that payments were made in the name of military personnel instead of the service providers which they say is against best practice in financial management as payments for works, goods and services.
These payments was said to have amounted to Le508,921,825 and in addition, returns such as invoices, receipts amongst others were not submitted for audit inspection. From the supporting documents submitted for verification by the ministry was only able to account for Le229,603,000 leaving a balance of Le279,318,825.
Still on payments without adequate supporting documents, a review of payment vouchers and other documents revealed that payments were made to the tune of Le2,905,506,557 that were not backed by adequate supporting documents such as end users’ request, reports, and signed lists of beneficiaries for goods, works and services, engineer’s reports of defects for retention fees.
The Auditor’s only received supporting documents to the tune of Le1,270,387,094 which were submitted and verified leaving a balance of Le1,635,119,463 which is yet to be submitted for audit purposes.
By Zainab Iyamide Joaque
Monday July 09, 2018.

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