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Sierra Leone News: Maritime Administration faulted for Le602m vessel registration fees

The Sierra Leone Maritime Administration (SLMA) has been faulted for failing to submit source documents and other relevant supporting documents relating to registration fees collected from international vessels. During an audit The Administration’s invoices, receipts and other relevant supporting documents were inspected by Audit Service Sierra Leone (ASSL) to substantiate income generated Le602,552,000. When the Executive Director was asked to provide all necessary supporting documents for the audit inspection in respect of the income in question, he replied that payment of fees from international vessels registration are done by the SLMA overseas office and funds are deposited into the Bank of Sierra Leone account. The Administration has got a new agreement by which all payments in connection with international shipping registration fees are paid into the office which is run by SLAMARAAD in Cyprus. Even though he said that supporting documents for fees paid are all available for audit verification and inspection, the Auditors were unable to obtain the relevant supporting documents in respect of the income in question accrued since the Cyprus agreement only came into force in 2015. Procurement documents such as, newspaper advertisements, expression of interest documents from bidders, bid opening minutes, evaluation reports, award letters and service level agreements for consultancy services amounting to Le381,447,500 were also not submitted for audit inspection. Evidence in the form of request for quotations and local purchase orders were not submitted to substantiate that procurement of goods and services from several suppliers and service providers amounting to Le776,115,000 were conducted in accordance with Section 45 (1) and the First Schedule of the Public Procurement Act of 2004. The Executive Director’s response to the procurement query was that documents such as newspaper advertisements and other relevant procurement documents are available for external audit verification. “The newspaper adverts are in the custody of the Public Relations Office and would be available for audit inspection,” he said. Procurement documents were not produced in respect of payments for consultancy services amounting to Le381,447,500. Furthermore, the request for quotations and local purchase orders presented were also not signed.

ZJ/6/2/19

By Zainab Iyamide Joaque

Thursday February 07 2019.

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