Auditor-General Lara Taylor-Pearce In its fifth edition of their Annual Performance Report 2017 the Audit Service Sierra Leone (ASSL) Public Enterprise Division generated Le1.89billion for the period under review.
This was disclosed recently by officials of ASSL speaking to AYV. The officials stated further that the total fees collected surpass the 2016 revenue of Le1.39billion, which in effect exceeded its budget fee income of Le1.77billion in 2017.
ASSL however retained Le1.37 billion of generated income which is approximately 73% of total fees collected and transferred Le510 million to the Consolidated Revenue Fund. The Annual Performance Report, according to the Auditor General, Lara Taylor-Pearce is a self-assessment of their work, which she said is done every twelve months.
She said: “It focuses primarily on the internal operations and use of our resources,” adding that in spite of it being capable of generating revenue for the ASSL, the Public Enterprise Division, she went on, forms an integral part in the execution of the ASSL’s main activities. According to Lara Taylor-Pearce,
“It is responsible for the audit of all public enterprises/parastatals, commissions and projects.” Section 21 of the Audit Service Act, 2014 mandates the Auditor-General to engage the services of specially qualified individuals or accounting or other firms to provide audit services to public sector bodies.
In this direction, the Auditor-General said the ASSL outsources the audits of some projects and public enterprises to private audit firms and that the department responsible for this ensures that all outsourced audits are conducted in accordance with the applicable rules and regulations.
She added that the Department & Specialized Audit Division (D&SA) manages audits of all government ministries, departments and agencies and also performs re-calculation of ex-gratia and gratuity for services performed on contract basis which have also been calculated by the same.
Highlighting the challenges affecting the operations of the institution, she noted that their operational plan is continuously hampered by the continued late or non-submission of financial statements more especially by the local councils and public enterprises whose work is dependent on the clients submitting their financial statements.
She maintained that the ASSL strategic plan 2016-2020 is the road map for the institution’s development, and their working document; and that it has been operational for two and a half years, adding that the ASSL is set to carry out an overview of the document to determine how far they have gone as an office in achieving certain objectives.