Auditors from Audit Service Sierra Leone (ASSL) who conducted the audit of funds and assets allocated to government ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) for the period 2014 discovered that kitchen items purchased were not physically seen.

Kaifala Marrah

It was realized that the Makeni Government Hospital kitchen lacked basic items needed to enable kitchen staff carry out their functions effectively.

Of utmost concern was the fact that amounts of Le8,000,000 and Le5,000,000 respectively were paid to the Finance Officer for the purchase of kitchen utensils rather than directly to the various suppliers.

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Moreover, during physical verification of the items procured, the ASSL team realized that kitchen items valued at Le12,140,000 were not seen.

It was recommended that the MS should give adequate explanation for this occurrence; and that the hospital desists from such practices.

The Finance Officer should ensure that the missing items said to have been procured are made available for verification within 30 days of the receipt of this report; otherwise, they should refund the amount in question into the CRF and forward the paying-in slip to the Audit Service for verification.

In future, the MS should ensure that periodic checks are carried out and assets procured should be readily made available for verification. In future, the MS should also ensure that payments be made in the names of the beneficiary organizations and not individuals.

The following were observed during a review of revenue generation in 2014: A comparison between the accountable document register and the physical receipt books submitted for audit revealed that 8 receipt books issued to the finance unit in 2014 were not produced for audit inspection.

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An amount of Le13,682,000 was estimated to have been collected from the 8 missing receipt books.

It was recommended that the FO should ensure that the receipt books were made available for verification within 30 days of the receipt of the report failing which the amount of Le13,682,000 must be refunded into the hospital’s account and the paying- in slip forwarded to ASSL for verification.

In future, the MS should carry out regular reviews over the receipt and issuance of revenue receipt books to collectors so as to maximize revenues and prevent funds meant for hospital development from misuse.

Examination of receipt books submitted to the audit team for review revealed that the total sum of Le41,046,000 was collected, as hospital fees and charges.

However, only Le17,245,000 was banked leaving a difference of Le23,801,000 neither banked nor having supporting documents submitted to justify the utilization of funds.

Furthermore, revenue and disbursement cashbooks to record all revenue collected and expenditures made by the hospital were not maintained by the hospital.

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It was therefore difficult to comprehend how monthly bank reconciliations were prepared.

It was recommended that the Finance Officer (FO) should ensure that the amount of Le23,801,000 was refunded into the hospital account within 30 days of the receipt of the report and forward the paying in slip to the Audit Service for verification.

In future, all revenues collected should be banked intact the following day or at the earliest opportunity.

There was no evidence in the form of request for quotations (RFQs) to justify that procurement of goods and services which totaled Le728,997,000 were conducted in accordance with Section 45(1) and the first schedule of the Public Procurement Act, 2004.

It was recommended that the MS should ensure that the RFQs in respect of the procurement of Le728,997,000 should be forwarded to ASSL within 30 days of the receipt of this report.

In future, quotations should be requested in writing from at least three bidders in accordance with Section 45(1) and the first schedule of the Public Procurement Act, 2004.

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A careful scrutiny of payment records submitted to the audit team for review revealed that an amount of Le38,256,000 was paid to a service provider as outstanding amount due in respect of vehicle maintenance on PV number 1111.

Confirmations sought from the Makeni City Council revealed that the Council had in its books of account Le27,006,000 as outstanding debt transferred to the Regional Tertiary Hospital Bombali as vehicle maintenance.

This resulted in an overpayment of Le11,250,000. It was further observed that the date on the PV was 16th June 2014, whilst one of the invoices numbered 2584 was dated 16th October 2014 indicating that payment was made before the invoice was prepared.

Similarly, it was observed that an amount of Le40,000,000 was paid to a supplier as arrears in respect of spare parts supplied on the 5th May, 2011. It could be recalled that the hospital was transferred back to the MOHS in January 2014; meaning that all transactions before 2014 should have been entered into by the Makeni City Council.

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It was however surprising to note that the amount in question was neither among the debts transferred to the hospital nor captured in the Makeni City Council’s financial statements for the years 2011, 2012 and 2013 respectively.

It was recommended that the MS should ensure that the amounts of Le11,250,000 and Le40,000,000 respectively were paid back into the CRF and the paying in slip forwarded to ASSL for verification.