The Audit Service Sierra Leone has held a citizen engagement session with Civil Society Organisations and the media to chat the successes, challenges and map out the way forward for the institution in the coming years.
The engagement session took place at the Sierra Bay Hotel, Aberdeen in Freetown on Monday, 21st November, 2022.
Addressing the session, the Acting Auditor-General, Mr. Abdul Aziz said the idea of engaging the CSOs and other stakeholders is not new to the ASSL, adding that over the years, the ASSL has actively engaged various stakeholders in Freetown and the regions on the activities of the institution. The Acting Auditor-General stressed that this is in recognition of the fact that Supreme Audit Institutions cannot act alone and must be supported by other stakeholders. “This prompted the ASSL to adopt mechanisms that call for support and collaboration with stakeholders”, he noted. Mr. Aziz commended the CSOs and the media for being a source of support to the ASSL whenever they are called upon.
Chairman of the programme, Mr. Abubakarr Kamara, National Coordinator of Budget Advocacy Network commended the ASSL for giving CSOs the opportunity to contribute to the work of the institution. He encouraged CSOs to bring out issues that will help the ASSL to improve on their work. He pointed out that CSOs should highlight what the ASSL is doing well, what they are not doing well and what can be done to improve on their work.
A detailed explanation of the Audit Process was done by the Deputy Auditor-General, Mr. Selvin Bell who spoke on how the audit process commences in the ASSL from the planning stage to the submission of the report to parliament.
The Communication Officer, Mr. Martin Sandy presented a detailed explanation on how the ASSL has been engaging stakeholders including the Public Accounts Committee, Tertiary Institutions, Ataya Bases, Schools through outreach programmes, public lectures, radio discussion programme and town hall meetings.
During the programme, the stakeholders spoke on a wide range of issues in areas the ASSL is doing well, and where improvement is needed. They also suggested possible areas that the ASSL should concentrate during next year’s audit.