“Approximately, the Sierra Leone government has 80,000 employees who are on government payroll includes; the Army, Police Force, Teachers, Nurses et cetera”, said accountant general Kebbe A. Kouroma.
He said the office of the accountant general is to transform the central government and it is in the ministry of Finance and Economic Development (MoFED) as a department and not a unit or division.
He pointed out that they do not raise money nor do they make budget but set target for the national revenue authority (NRA), adding, the budget only goes to them for execution.
Mr. Kouroma made the statement on Friday February 5, 2016 during a media and civil society interaction forum with his department in the ministry of Finance conference Hall in Freetown.
“The accountant general’s department does not operate in vacuum as we have regulatory frame work with orders and regulations including code of conduct policies and procedure”, he stated.
In highlighting the roles and challenges of his department, he said their Vision is to to establish quality accounting system in the public sector by complying timely. He added that they ensure accurate and comprehensive public accounts thus instituting financial control that prevent fraud and other irregularities.
He said “We receive all public monies payable into the consolidated revenue fund and we provide secure custody for such monies and make disbursements on behalf of government in accordance with the laws governing the management and control of public sector finance as well as keeping, records and publishing statements of the public accounts as required by law”.
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Mr. Kouroma boasted that their activities must reflect their values such as professionalism, transparancy & accountability, integrity, selflessness, honesty & openness, leadership and objectivity.
He contended though that they have very good organizational structure but needs improvement as professional accountants are inadequate and inundated with work. He said sustainability of information technology system is a huge challeng for running cost and rollout.
He admitted having challenges with the auditor general’s department, stressing that his department has huge problem with connectivity and sometimes power supply.
Technology alone, he noted, is not enough and therefore reporting management account is extremely difficult for them. He emphatically stated that the department needs some overhaul which is why they invited the press to inform government and the public.
The accountant general concluded that if all their challenges are addressed it would go a long way to attract and retain the right crop of people in the department.
He vowed to execute his work in consonance with the law.