Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee has continued its hearings probing unresolved audit queries on the Ministries of Fisheries and Mines. This follows the 2013 Audit Report of the Auditor-General of Sierra Leone.
The Committee has already reviewed audit queries of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, Accountant-General’s Department and the National Revenue Authority, NRA. Officials of the Ministries of Fisheries and Marine Resources were required to briefed corrective actions they actions they have taken so far to close the gaps identified in the report.
Hon Chernor Bah who chaired the hearings drew the attention to the seriousness and magnitude of financial losses to the government. He cited differences totaling over Eight-point-Four billion Leones observed between the total revenue collected in the Ministry’s records, and the revenue banked in the Consolidated Revenue Fund.
The committee also frowned at the salary payments of over Fifty-Four Million Leones to Fourteen officers in 2013 who had exceeded the mandatory retirement age. Several other outstanding issues were reviewed such as the reduction in fines from Twenty Thousand dollars to Ten Thousand dollars levied on fishing vessel FV Puyu which was defended by the Acting Assistant Director Sheku Sie.
Earlier, officials of the Ministry of Mines put up on a brave face to claims of unsupported documents for overseas travelling of nearly Seventy million Leones. Unclaimed salaries of Mines Monitoring Officers of over Thirty Million Leones not paid back into the Mines Monitoring Account, general payroll issues and payments of over One Hundred and Fifteen Million Leones without adequate supporting document remain to be resolved.