By: Martina George – Communications Officer, ACC
The Prevention Department of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has presented a Report titled ‘Monitoring for Compliance on Budgetary Allocation and Utilization in Local Councils’ to the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development and Local Councils.
The presentation of the Report took place on Tuesday 3rd April, 2022 at the Conference Room of the Western Area Rural District Council (WARDC) in Waterloo.
The Councils targeted for the monitoring and compliance exercise, six Councils which are; the Koidu New Senbehun City, Makeni City, Kambia District, Kenema District, Koinadugu District and Kailahun District Councils.
With funding from OSIWA, the Monitoring and Compliance Unit of the Prevention Department ACC, conducted monitoring for compliance within Laws, Regulations, Policies and Procedures and Best Practice on Budgetary Allocation and Utilization in these aforesaid six councils. The monitoring team used nine compliance indicators such as Budgetary Allocation, Budget Trends and Funding, Budget Utilization, Procurement, Financial Accountability, Internal Audit, External Audit, Monitoring and Supervision and Stores Management.
The Director of Prevention Department, ACC, Rashid Turay, established the purpose of the meeting and gave a brief overview of the Report. He implored Chairpersons of the Councils to take the recommendations very seriously and make sure that responsibility is given to the Integrity Management Committees (IMCs) in the Councils to ensure they are implemented.
Head of Monitoring and Compliance Unit at the ACC, Ibrahim Sorie Kamara-Kay said that the six local councils achieved a significant compliance score of 82%, which suggests that such compliance score requires the Commission to further engage them. He said five of the Councils; Koidu New Senbehun City Council, Makeni City Council, Kambia District Council, Kenema District Council, and Kailahun District Council scored between 80% and 89%, which indicates a significant compliance. The Koinadugu District Council, Mr. Kamara-Kay said, achieved a moderate compliance of 75%. He said the Commission has recommended that a warning letter be written to them, reminding council authorities of their responsibility and to fully comply with the laws, regulations, policies and best practice governing their operations.
In her statement, the Deputy Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Melrose Karmanty, made an appeal to the ACC to include records keeping in the nine pillars of the monitoring indicators. She further noted that talking to beneficiaries of projects sponsored by the Government of Sierra Leone, own source revenue and Donors will enhance accountability and transparency.
After a thorough review of the Local Councils engaged, six recommendations were proffered including; all outstanding compliance points under the nine compliance indicators including unresolved Audit Service issues are immediately complied with, Budgetary Allocation and Utilization be continuously monitored by the ACC to ensure that monies are used in an efficient and effective manner, among others.