ACC chief warns: No escape route for defaulters in 2019 Audit Report
By Ibrahim Tarawallie
Commissioner of Sierra Leone’s Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has warned that there will be no escape route for individuals and institutions named in the 2019 Auditor report in respect of irregularities and alleged misappropriation of public funds.
“Those named in the report are put on notice that we are coming very strong. We are not going to tolerate excuses. We are going to act on this 2019 audit report just as we did for the 2018 report. People are going to pay, people are going to prison and some will be arrested in the most brutal form, while others will be prosecuted,” Francis Ben Kaifala warned.
The 2019 Auditor General’s Report, which was tabled in parliament on December 18, 2020 revealed massive irregularities and corruption in ministries, departments and agencies in the handling of state funds.
According to Commissioner Kaifala, about Le149billion is said to have been missing and stated that the reasons advanced for losses in the report were almost the same as previous audits- cash losses due to unsupported payments and unretired impress.
He was speaking on Tuesday January 12, 2021 during a presser hosted by to update journalists on what the ACC intends to do with the 2019 audit report, as well as the report on the COVID-19 response.
He said the anti-graft agency will not waste time with issues that has to do with the National Revenue Authority (NRA in the report and therefore urged finance officers in MDAs to either have documents to confirm that the audit report is not accurate in respect of their institution or prepared to pay heavily.
The ACC czar highlighted unsupported payments totaling Le96billion, revenue not banked- Le25billion, PAYE- Le11billion, GST not accounted for totaling Le22billion, fuel Le5billion, unaccounted revenue- Le4billion, payroll irregularities totaling Le4.3billion and unpaid loans- Le1.8billion as some of the issues raised in the report.
“We are going to hit people where we know it hurt most-their pockets. We are going to go after their properties and it is not a threat but a fact. We are going to perform our role without fear or favour and nobody can threaten us. The CID is going to get very busy,” the ACC Commissioner assured.
He noted that the commission has succeeded in making corruption very unfashionable, as well as both a high risk and low resource venture in Sierra Leone.