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Sierra Leone Business: As PAC adjourns Kambia district Officials may be arrested if they fail to appear before PAC on Sept. 12

The current and former management team of the Kambia district Council have been summoned to appear before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament on 12th September, 2018, failing which they may be arrested.
The team that attended the maiden hearing in Makeni on Monday 13th August, 2018 was asked to inform the former Chief Administrator Alhaji Alhaji Bangura whom the former Finance Officer Mohamed Osman Turay blamed for all the queries highlighted by the Auditors.
At which point the PAC Chairman Hon Segepoh Solomon Thomas then said that it will be difficult for the Committee to continue without the presence of the person responsible.
The scheduled referral for August 23, had to be deferred again because Bangura failed to appear along with a number of other officials both past and present. “I am adjourning this hearing to September 12, and I am telling the PAC deputy Chairman Hon. Lahai Marrah to issue a warrant of arrest if they do not come with the full team and all relevant documents must be brought along” Hon. Thomas warned.
The Council were asked to produce bank statements, demand notices, financial statements and receipts books when they face the Committee in Freetown, “we told them to be here, that is why I insisted on full records because I want to know where we stopped and where we should go next” he said.
An average of 11percent of transactions with amount totalling Le482million (Le482,143,103) did not have supporting documents. During verification supporting documents for Le430million (Le430,890,853) was presented leaving Le51million (Le51,252,250) as un-cleared.
The outstanding document for the Le51million was then presented, but Hon Thomas then said at the time that it will be scrutinized and verified because people go about manufacturing receipts.
Hon. Francis Amara Kaisamba then said that the documents presented by Turay looks very fictitious and still needs further scrutiny by the Auditors. “We are talking about 2016, don’t you think this document should have aged but they are as new as the word.)
Turay responded that it was as a result of the management of their documents, “because we are not in an open space where dust will eat up our documents, we can give you 2014 documents as clean as those. I am not at Kambia as I only saw the documents this morning when I came here” Turay said.
Another Council that was in Freetown on referral was the PortLoko District Council who were asked to present supporting documents for transactions and monies paid to absentee Councillors as disclosed in the Auditor General’s Annual report totalling Le48million (Le48,420,000) for the 2016 Financial year.
The said documents were then presented and were informed by the Chairman that they will be invited again subject to the advice of the Audit Service Sierra Leone after verification has been done. “If we are not satisfied we will take the relevant actions – if the audit looks at it and there are still queries we will get you all to come here again” Hon. Thomas presaged.
By Zainab Iyamide Joaque
Monday August 27, 2018.

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