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Sierra Leone: PAC investigates local councils

6 September 2018 at 00:03 | 2082 views

By Emperor Bailor Jalloh, Freetown, Sierra Leone

The Deputy Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the Sierra Leone parliament who is from the majority opposition All People’s Congress (APC) Hon. Lahai Marah (photo) has said in Freetown that Sierra Leone Auditor General’s Report of 2016 covers the activities of the past APC led government and that PAC has conducted a nationwide hearing of local councils to answer queries based on that report.

Hon. Lahai Marah made this statement in an interview with the Patriotic Vanguard newspaper in his parliament office, Tower Hill, Freetown.

Marah further disclosed that most of the issues with local councils were range from inadequate supporting documents for expenditures and administration such as ineffective internal control procedures to unauthorised payment of sitting fees for councilors and that the committee has instructed several Chief Administrators of local councils to refund the alleged misapproprated funds to the state. One of the local councils, the Bombali District Council has already done that.

The Deputy Chairman also stated that the committee earlier engaged the National Revenue Authority ( NRA), Finance Ministry, Accountant General’s Department, Mines and Minerals Resources Ministry, Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of Defense to answer to queries in the Auditor General’s Report of 2016.

Standing Orders (parliamentary legal procedures book ) according to Hon. Marah mandated PAC to examine any account or report of statutory corporations and boards after they are tabled at the House of Parliament including the Auditor General’s Report.

At the same time the Standing Orders also states that the Deputy Speaker of parliament should be chairman of PAC unlike other West African countries like Nigeria and Liberia where an opposition Member of Parliament is the Chairman of PAC.

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