ASSL Concludes Stakeholders Engagement in the North

Published by auditsl on

The Audit Service Sierra Leone (ASSL) has embarked on a nationwide citizen engagement as part of the planning process for the 2023 council audits in June 2024.

This engagement is part of the World Bank support to the ASSL to effectively and efficiently plan the 2023 audit process.

To enhance inclusive participation in the democratic space, stakeholders were drawn from all sectors including Paramount Chiefs, Councilors, civil society organisations, media, youth, schools and women groups, market women, bike riders, representatives from Ataya Bases and the disabled.

In the north and northwest regions, the ASSL engaged participants in Port Loko, Kambia, Makeni and Magburaka, with plans to continue this engagement in the east and southern regions of Sierra Leone.

According to Martin Sandy, the Senior Information, Education and Communication Officer for the Audit Service, the engagement is part of the council audit planning which provides an opportunity for people in their localities to present issues of concern for audit and follow-up on previous engagements.

He said the ASSL had organised similar engagements in these regions with plans to widen the scope.

Sinneh Kargbo, the Assistant Auditor-General in the North and Northwest Regions who represented the Acting Auditor-General noted that the Audit Service is an institution established by law with the mandate to audit all institutions including local councils that receive monies from government and donor partners on behalf of the people of Sierra Leone and report to Parliament. He said the ASSL is keen on service delivery, the reason they are engaging stakeholders who are knowledgeable about the issues that affect them.

Mr. Kargbo and team informed participants that the local council audit would soon commence, and urged them to serve as whistle-blowers because the issues they will be looking at, impact their lives.

Paramount Chiefs in these regions appreciated the effort of the ASSL to involve the locals in meetings of such nature and lauded the reports produced over the years to ensure accountability in governance.

They collectively called for the inclusion of a Clause of Compliance in the ASSL Act, for the effective implementation of recommendations in the reports.

Participants in all regions expressed delight in considering them as part of the audit planning process. “Now we know that we are part of the governance process to hold our leaders accountable”, participants told the gathering.

The participants highlighted cross-cutting audit issues of concern for effective service delivery in local councils ranging from the utilization of own-source revenue, missing vehicles and tricycles, and lack of accountability for devolved funds allocated to councils.

All participants prioritised the provision of social services as a key area of concern for audit. 

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