Salone News

ACC commences action on the Auditor General’s reports

22 December 2020 at 19:17 | 1323 views

PV staff

The recently published audit reports by the Auditor General of Sierra Leone, Lara Taylor-Pearce, have created a storm of controversy among Sierra Leoneans in and out of the country. The battlegrounds are mostly on social media (Facebook, Whatsapp and others).

Many Sierra Leoneans applauded the Auditor General for what they considered a job well done, while others condemned her as having produced shoddy and unprofessional work. They pointed to the fact that the Auditor General included evidence of thieving from 2015 to 2017 when the current government was not in power.

However, in his usual cool manner, the head of the Anti-Corruption Commission, Francis Ben Kaifala (photo) has launched an investigation into the reports. See below the ACC press release to the effect:

Press Release

ACC welcomes the release of the Auditor General of Sierra Leone’s reports, 2019

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) wishes to inform the general public that the tabling in Parliament and publication of the Auditor General’s Report for the Financial Year ended 31st December, 2019 and the COVID-19 Report by the Audit Service Sierra Leone have been brought to its attention and that it has commenced immediate examination of the same.

The ACC attaches utmost importance to the Auditor General’s Reports. As such, in recent times, the Commission had provided and will continue to provide updates to the public through Serialized Media Releases on the many interventions and outcomes in regard the Audit Reports *2015-2018* which resulted in investigations, prosecutions, convictions, recovery of huge sums, prevention measures, and, in appropriate situations, exoneration and clearing of persons and institutions. More importantly, the Commission is also cognizant of the role of Parliament regarding this issue and it shall be collaborating with them.

The Commission preliminarily notes that that there are various issues in the report that it had already commenced or concluded investigations into either due to the fact that they arose in the year 2019 or, they were already the subject of investigations before the conclusion of the audit. For those still under investigation, it will continue and conclude them speedily. For the rest, it will work with Parliament and Audit Service Sierra Leone to ensure that each party performs its role to ensure that the various issues of concern are speedily and accordingly addressed without favour for anyone. The ACC is now examining the Reports with a view to ascertaining violations of the Anti-Corruption Act 2008 as Amended in 2019, or needs for intervention by the ACC; and/or identify system weaknesses within the audited institutions for appropriate prevention efforts to address them. It wishes to make it very clear that anyone found wanting shall face the full consequences prescribed by law with no exceptions. In this regard, the public is encouraged to exercise patience while the Commission does a thorough review and analysis of the Reports and thereafter commence taking action as may be expedient.

For further enquiries on this and other ACC matters, please contact Moris Ibrahim Kanteh, Assistant Public Relations Officer on +232-78-832131 or via email info@anticorruption.gov.sl.

……………………………………
Patrick Sandi
Director of Public Education and Outreach

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