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Sierra Leone News: Audit Service begins MDA, BSL forensic audit process

Audit Service Sierra Leone (ASSL) has on Monday 27th August 2018, initiated the process for a Forensic Audit of the Bank of Sierra Leone (BSL) and Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs). The Audit Service has started by seeking to identify firms that have technical capacity and experience to offer Forensic Audit consultancy.
President Julius Maada Bio on 9th July 2018 directed his Secretary to engage the Auditor General of the Audit Service Sierra Leone (ASSL) to immediately consider a Special Audit of all Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs) including Sierra Leone Commercial Bank (SLCB) and Rokel Commercial Bank (RCB).
The President’s decision was made following the launch of the Government Transition Team (GTT) report on Wednesday 4th July 2018, which led the President to convene an emergency Cabinet meeting on Friday 6th July 2018 to discuss and adopt the Report as a basis for further action.
The first recommendation of the GTT Report was, to “Immediately direct the Audit Service Sierra Leone to undertake special Audits of all MDAs to establish how public assets and funds have been utilised by the former APC Government, as provided for in Section 119 of the 1991 Constitution; the Audit Service Act 2014 and Section 16 of the Public Financial Management Act 2016.”
Additionally, the team also sanctioned the ASSL to carry out technical audits of the agencies relating to telecommunications, energy, and revenue (NRA) as well as NASSIT, the Bank of Sierra Leone and the two state-owned Commercial Banks, which have been embroiled in loan scandals over the past years.
According to the Request for Expressions of Interest issued by the Audit Service, its general objective of the forensic audit is to examine and report to the Government through the Ministry of Finance (MOF) on foreign and domestic transactions between Bank of Sierra Leone and MDAs during July 2015 – June 2018.
The audit scope in the Terms of Reference, according to the ASSL, may be amended if, in the Auditor’s judgment, additional steps are needed to meet the above objectives of the audit, upon agreement with the MOF, BSL, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the World Bank.
The Auditor must be an international forensic audit firm with significant proven experience in forensic investigations and auditing techniques. The audit will be led by a principal/engagement partner from the firm’s office located in a country other than Sierra Leone.
Furthermore, the said Auditor must be independent (both in appearance and in fact) in relation to the audit, including independence vis-à-vis any parties related to the transactions under the investigation.
By Zainab Iyamide Joaque
Wednesday August 29, 2018.

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