PETITION TO HE ERNEST BAI KOROMA ON THE OCCASION OF THE AUDIT REPORT 2011
The Audit Service of Sierra Leone in accordance with its mandate under section 119 of the Constitution of Sierra Leone 1991 has produced a report intituled the Audit Report of Sierra Leone 2011. The report exposes massive irregularities in the public finances of Sierra Leone. Every major government institution has been indicted in addition to others involved in the management or use of donor and public funds. Of particular concern is the fact that law enforcement institutions like the police and the Judiciary are implicated in the systematic and deliberate and in some cases reckless use of public funds, without resort to acceptable accounting practices. The Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) the key institution charged with tackling corruption in the country was not audited despite it being subject to the jurisdiction of the Audit Service as required by s119(2) of the 1991 Constitution. Of particular concern is the decision of the Auditor General to issue a legal disclaimer in the following terms: " The most significant outcome from my audit work for 2011 has been my professional judgment that a Disclaimer of Opinion on the Financial Statements of the Government of Sierra Leone was appropriate in the circumstances. The pervasive reasons running through the financial statements as a whole that gave rise to this are laid out in my Auditor’s Report in Chapter 4 but are briefly summarised as follows: I was not able to obtain sufficient appropriate audit evidence that the External Public Debt disclosed in the Public Accounts is free from material misstatement. I was not able to obtain sufficient appropriate audit evidence that Domestic Revenue disclosed in the Public Accounts was free from material misstatement I was unable to ascertain that Government bank balances disclosed in the Public Accounts were free from material misstatement. Such a statement does not inspire confidence in the Republic of Sierra Leone by external partners bearing in mind our over- reliance on donor funds as a country. The Auditor General has called for " require urgent attention by the government" and public officials to advance public financial management. In view of the fact that all major Government institutions have been indicted in this report save for HE the President alone, it is prudent for HE the President as the fountain of honour and justice and the Head of State to take personal control of this issue, as none of the designated institutions can be relied upon to deal with the issues raised by this report with the requisite level of impartiality and moral fortitude. This e-petition therefore calls on HE the President to: i. Institute an urgent Commission of Enquiry of independent Sierra Leoneans of reputable character with considerable personal integrity and probity with terms of reference to look into the report and make recommendations with a view to identifying and taking disciplinary action against public officials involved in this massive misuse of Public funds. ii. The Commision to have a time scale of three months within which to report. iii. The findings of the report to be made public within thirty days. iv. Government to put in place an electronic financial management system within the shortest possible time. The full report can be found at : http://www.auditservice.gov.sl/report/assl-auditor-general-annual-report-2011.pdf PLEASE SIGN THIS E-PETITION IF YOU CARE ABOUT SIERRA LEONE! LONG LIVE THE PEOPLE OF SIERRA LEONE. LONG LIVE THE MOTHERLAND!