Audit Service Sierra Leone yesterday tabled in Parliament the Report on the Audit of the management of the Ebola funds by the National Ebola Response Centre (NERC) from November 2014 to April 2015. The report states that government institutions and officers failed to implement the recommendations in the first ebola audit report that covered May – October 2014.
“Most of the comments and recommendations made by the Public Accounts Committee on the previous Ebola report have not been implemented by the concerned institutions or officers,” according to the report.
“The committee recommended that Mr. Charles Mambu repays the loan of Le160,900,000 within one month after the adoption of its report. There was no evidence to indicate that this was done,” the report says.
The National Revenue Authority (NRA) failed to collect withholding tax from contractors that should have paid the tax. NERC had lapses also in the management of assets. The ministry of health did not provide a list of vehicles, ambulances and motorcycles handed to NERC and some of these vehicles were not registered, according to the report.
The report states that the World Bank donated a total of $132 million to the Ebola fight and about $33.5m of the World Band donation was through NERC. “The sum of $82,386,539 which accounts for about 62% of the World Bank funds which were channelled through UN Agencies is yet to be audited by the ASSL [Audit Service Sierra Leone],” the report says.
The report also stated that the UN Agencies did not offer their services for free. They demanded payment. “We noted that the UN Agencies were contracted and did not provide their services free of charges as they levied on average a service charge of 5% which was approximately $4,119,327 in total.”
Despite claims by departments in the Finance Ministry that there is a good working relationship and collaboration between the ministry and the ASSL, the report says, the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development failed to respond to the Audit Service for clarification.
The report indicts the health ministry for failing to pay contractors.
“It is evident from our audit that the Ministry of Health and Sanitation (MOHS) did not ensure that adequate funds were available within its coffers/budget prior to initiating procurement proceedings. As a result of that, the Ministry is still owing some contractors the sums of US$488,280 and Le887,123,914 for goods and services, and/or works projects which have been delivered and/or completed to specification. There is no evidence that the MOHS is dissatisfied with the delivery.”