The ASSL exercise uncovered that Le 4,000,759,885 generated as own source revenue for various chargeable services offered by the SLP was retained in contradiction to the above regulation, and without the written permission of the Minister of Finance and Economic Development (MOFED).
Although there was evidence that the SLP had approached MoFED on the matter, the latter was yet to respond, and therefore, the SLP had been in breach of the above regulation since the past five years.
The ASSL 2016 report recommended that the Inspector General of Police should seek the approval of MoFED and other relevant authorities for the utilization of these funds within 15 days upon receipt of the report otherwise, the appropriate authorities would be advised accordingly.
The Inspector General (IG) in his response said: “A verbal approval was granted by the then Minister of Finance and Economic Development during a meeting that was held between the Sierra Leone Police Management, Minister of Finance and Economic Development and the Commissioner General of the NRA, which permitted the Sierra Leone Police to retain revenue collected from services provided by SLP armed guards.
Furthermore, the Inspector General of Police told the auditors that he had written two separate letters to the Chairman of the Finance Committee and the Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee in Parliament, to seek their approval for the utilization of revenue collected by the Sierra Leone Police. Currently, the matter is being looked at by both committees and Copies of these letters are available for audit inspection.”
The Auditor’s comment was that during the verification exercise, “we noted that letters from the Inspector General of Police dated 28th April, 2015, 9th October, 2015 and 1st March, 2017 were sent to the Hon. Minister of Finance and Economic Development, the Chairman Public Accounts Committee and the Chairman of the Finance Committee in Parliament respectively, seeking permission for the retention and utilization of own- source revenue collected by the SLP. However, until a written approval is given by the Hon. Minister of Finance and Economic Development, this issue remains unresolved.”
However, the ASSL though a public document shall soon be debated by Members of Parliament and recommendations made.
At the same Sierra Leone Police headquarters, the ASSL discovered that an Assets Register was not updated; computer accessories and furniture worth Le207,050,000 were purchased during the year under review, but were not recorded in the Fixed Assets Register.
The ASSL 2016 report recommended that the head of the Assets Management Unit should update the Fixed Assets Register with all assets purchased during the period under review, and evidence of such provided for audit verification within 15 days of receipt of this report.
The IG in response to the above stated that the head of the Assets Management Unit had updated the Fixed Assets Register with all assets purchased for the period under review and that evidence of such was now available for audit verification.
The Auditor’s comment on this was that during the verification exercise, an updated Fixed Assets Register was not submitted for audit review and that therefore, this issue remains unresolved.