The institution that was set up by the Government of Sierra Leone to deal with issues of financial fraud and money laundering in the country is been indicted for financial imprudence.
The Audit Report of 2014 slammed the newly established Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) in a Le 407,365,884 scam.
According to the Audit Report, “there was no evidence of review and approval of salary vouchers totaling Le407,365,884 for the period August 2013 to December 2013.”
When The Director was contacted by the Auditor he had this to say “this issue has been rectified with the employment of an Accountant which is evidenced by it not appearing as an audit finding in 2014.”
He continued that should the Auditors require ascertaining whether any ineligible staff were paid during this period, their office is always open for the auditors to review the payroll against personnel files and the bank statements.
“There were only three staff on the payroll from August 2013 to October 2013. The recruitment of ten additional staff was completed in October 2013 of which 8(eight) started in November 2013 and the other two started in December 2013 and January 2014 respectively,” he explained.
The Auditor however concluded that no salary vouchers were submitted which according to them indicated that they were received or approved for 2013, therefore, they added “the issue was still outstanding.”
Another Issues that was raised by the Auditors is bank reconciliation and the auditors said, “even though bank reconciliations were prepared for 2013 and 2014 there was no indication of any signature showing that the reconciliations had been reviewed by a senior staff.”
It was recommended that management should “develop mechanisms to ensure that bank reconciliation statements were reviewed by a senior personnel and evidence of such review stated in the bank reconciliation statement.”
The Director in his response to this issue noted that a letter was written to the Bank of Sierra Leone drawing their attention to the long outstanding reconciling items and that action had now been taken by them and the issue resolved.
But the editor claimed that “ no evidence was submitted indicating that bank reconciliation statements were reviewed by a senior staff. Therefore the issue was still outstanding.”