27th March, 2013
Audit Service Sierra Leone held its Quarterly Review Meeting at Hotel Barmoi on Wednesday 27th March, 2013. Divisional Heads were given the opportunity to report on their activities for the first quarter of 2013. Presentations were made by all the Divisional Heads on what they achieved during the first quarter and the challenges faced.
The Deputy Auditor General, Finance and Corporate Service, Mrs Adama Renner, welcomed the participants to the workshop and appealed to them to make her presentation in line with the Operational Planning Workshop that was held in December, 2012.
In her opening statement, the Auditor General, Mrs Lara Taylor-Pearce, pointed out that the institution was facing financial constraints in trying to meet its target of auditing ministries, departments and agencies. She appealed to Divisional Heads to put more effort on priority audits despite the financial challenges.
Mr Albert Lamin, Senior Auditor, Training Division, in his presentation on the Quality Assurance said that the Quality Assurance Committee would be overseeing individual Quality Reviews and moving to various divisions to deal with Quality Assurance issues. He pointed out that the Quality Assurance Committee headed by the Deputy Auditor General, Finance and Corporate Service, Mrs Adama Renner, was responsible for planning Quality Assurance activities in the institiution. Mr Lamin highlighted that the Committee would produce an overall quality assurance report that will go to Divisional Heads and the consolidated report will go to Management. He appealed to staff to ensure the existence of quality assurance in the institution so that the quality controls would work as intended and there would be continuous improvement in the performance of the divisions.
Mrs Mary M Combey, Senior Auditor and Head of Performance Audit Division, stated that based on the 2013 Operational Planning, the Performance Audit Division planned to carry out four audits. She highlighted that, the Ministry of Lands audit was in progress and that the synopsis had been submitted.Based on that, the team was asked to go ahead with the drafting of the Report. She also said that the data collection, analysis and synopsis of the rehabilitation of Prisoners has been completed as Report had already been submitted and reviewed. She added that the waiting time audit on NASSIT was partly completed and that there was more to be done with the draft report submitted. She also mentioned the audit on the Sierra Leone Roads Authority on the Maintenance of Feeder Roads and added that the audit question and work plan for the SLRA audit had been revised so that the audit could be extend to the rehabilitation of feeder roads. She indicated that the first draft report would be submitted on the 10th April, 2013.
Speaking on behalf of the Communications Division, the Information, Education and Communications Officer, Mr Martin Sandy, said that Monitoring and Managing Media relations for ASSL was done on a daily basis as the electronics and print media were monitored and issues relating to ASSL were brought to the attention of management. He confirmed that the ASSL jingles were aired daily in Freetown, Bo, Kenema and Makeni. He pointed out that the 2011 Auditor General’s Report was widely publicised as radio discussion programmes were done in Freetown and the provinces. He also mentioned that meetings were held with Non State Actors, Civil Society Groups and media in Freetown, Waterloo, Bo, Makeni and Kenema. Mr Sandy stressed that statements were made by Key Audit Staff on the 2011 Report and contributions were also made by the participants after which copies of the report were distributed to them. The IEC Officer commended the PKF Consultants for providing him with adequate website training and software for uploading the website.
Presentations were made by Divisional Heads from the Information and Communication Technology, Public Enterprises, Ministries and Local Authorities, Human Resources, Department, Public Accounts Committee, Training, Finance, Internal Audit, Office Management, Bo, Kenema and Makeni divisions
Mr Kevin Hughes, PKF Consultant in his farewell statement to ASSL said that he first came to Sierra Leone in 2007 and had seen lots of developments in the institution. He stated that the ASSL website was one of the best website in Sierra Leone. He noted that Sierra Leone was almost on a juncture with two choices of either doing things as it used to be done and stay in poverty or to start making improvement. He reiterated that the Annual Auditor General’s Report and the Performance Audit Report pointed out the good work that ASSL was doing and what needed to be done. He advised the auditors to have their evidence intact when carrying out their audits.
In her closing remarks, the Auditor General mentioned that ASSL has a Communication Policy which clearly spelt out the way staff should interact with auditees. “We know that we have to be cautious when dealing with our auditees and at certain levels we should know how to approach them the Team Leaders have the responsibility to address auditees”, said Mr Taylor-Pearce. She advised team leaders to ensure that their working paper files were accurate, up-to-date and in line with the current audit manual. The Auditor General encouraged the Divisional Heads to liaise with each other in carrying out their work so that their job could become easy