2023

ANTI-CORRUPTION COMMISSION OF SIERRA LEONE

An independent institution established for the prevention, investigation, prosecution and punishment of corruption, corrupt practices and to provide for other related matters. 

Contact us on: +23278832131 or info@anticorruption.gov.sl
Address: Cathedral House, 3 Gloucester Street, Freetown, Sierra Leone.

2021 AUDITOR- GENERAL'S REPORT

OPINION ARTICLE

(A Personal Opinion)

By: Rev. Fr. Gabriel Luseni CSSp CKC Bo.

INTRODUCTION

There is currently a particular write up by Ranger of the Calabash Newspaper, that is making  the rounds on different social and Mass Media Fora commenting on the 2021 Auditor General's Report.

The following is the title/ summary of Ranger's commentary on the 2021 Auditor General's Report in the Calabash Newspaper:

" 2021 Auditor General's Report "NEGATES SLPP CLAIM FIGHTING CORRUPTION".( Cf Calabash Newspaper).

It is reported that the  "Calabash Newspaper is of the strong conviction that one of the things that the SLPP ruling Government is priding itself of having achieved, that is effectively fighting corruption has been made hollow, insignificant, and a mere empty bluff as the recent released 2021 Auditor General's Report reveals massive Corruption in not only Ministries, Departments,  and Agencies, but in other related sectors of Governance".

The Calabash Newspaper is therefore of the firm belief and convintion that because the Auditor General's Report has alleged estimated huge "cash  loss of" USA$, £, and Billions/ Trillions of Sierra Leone Leones, the current SLPP Government of President Maada Bio has now failed in its 2018 election campaign promise of fighting corruption in Sierra Leone.

This, of course I disagree with.

Ranger's commentary article in the Calabash Newspaper states the following as its concussion:

" The SLPP Government cannot be highly commended in its fight against Corruption as the 2021 Auditor General's Report reveals..... ".

Now my  commitment and opinion on the 2021 Auditor General's Report, especially as understood by Ranger of the Calabash Newspaper, and the generality of Sierra Leonean:

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I am of the firm opinion that the whole issue of 2021 Auditor General's Report has been over reported in the Social Media, grossly misunderstood there, and misinterpreted by the general public opinion of most Sierra Leoneans  especially the members of the Political Parties in opposition, including even some major News Media like the Calabash Newspaper that has immediately prompted this my response to the issue of the 2021 Auditor General's Report.

I would rather have had no problem with anybody.

The following is what I believe has been misunderstood and . misrepresented in the public domain of our Sierra Leone media reportage on  the work of the Auditor Generals Office and the financial accountability report that issued from that office this year:

1. I think that most Sierra Leoneans have come to generally believe the Auditor General as the solo and supreme authority for investigating and reporting financial accountability matters in State governance and in its  MDAs in our country.  Those who believe such, would think that whatever report is issued from the  Office of our Auditor General is absolute, authentic and final. Therefore every Sierra Leonean should believe whatever is in the Auditor General's Report as seen in the public domain, irrespective of it being a leaked by criminals, being inauthentic or unauthorized document.

We recently had such an acrimonious  issue with the last suspended Auditor General, Lara Taylor Pearce and her Assistant.

That was a year or so ago. But even to this day, public opinion in some circles in the country are still asking uninformed questions about the suspension of Lara Taylor Pearce and her Assistant.

The foolish idea believed by some Sierra Leoneans in that case is that the suspension of the last Auditor General, Lara Taylor Pearce and 

her Assistant is Politically motivated by either "orders from above" or it's from a "Feminist malice and segregation mentality.

There are still many  Sierra Leoneans of  that opinion that the reports of Auditor Generals of State financial accountability are final and should generally be taken very seriously with any comments or reservation by the current SLPP Government of President Maada Bio as the Auditor General's Reports reveals some financial accountability lacunae in the office of the President and all who are associated with that office of the president at State House.

This in my opinion, I  believe is unfortunately a mistaken notion of what the Author General's Office represents and does or should do.

My understanding of issue of work of the Auditor General's office is that it is not purposely set up to fight Corruption as such, in the MDA Offices it reports on.

To the be best of my knowledge, I think that the Office of the Auditor General is part of the Governance of the State. Although it's main responsibility is to regularly or periodically visit MDA's and other States Offices, look up their financial security and accounting books/documents, investigate, regulate,  supervise then and appropriately give an annual report on the financial processes and accountability of these State Offices and MDAS.

So the Auditor General's Office works in collaboration with other State partners, like the House of Parliament, the Anti-Corruption Commission, the Security Forces, to name but a few.

There is now even a signed MOU by the auditor General's Office, with the Parliamentary Finance Committee  and Anti-Corruption Commission.

This is meant to facilitate the sharing of information and of greater collaboration among State organs and, especially in dealing with financial and fiscal accountability.

This is partnership in good democratic Governance.

I therefore hope that this my submitted opinion here is clearly understood by all who read it.

And as a help to you my readers I will attach here a piece I wrote highlighting some of the major successes  on the 4th anniversary of our Anti-Corruption Commissioner and his Office under the current SLPP Government of President Maada Bio.

Cheers

 Fr. Gabriel Luseni CSSp CKC Bo.

15/01/2023.