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By Ibrahim Alusine Kamara (Kamalo)
Reports reaching Salone Compass news desk have exposed the Office of the Administrator and Register General (OARG) for the missing of a whopping sum of over one hundred forty-three million Leones from the Consolidated Fund.

The Audit Report unearths that amounts on the receipts of the National Revenue Authority (NRA) in the year 2020 do not correspond with the amount deposited into the Consolidated Fund, unveiling one hundred forty-three million three hundred thirty seven thousand five hundred twenty-four Leones thirty-eight cents (Le143,337,524.38) as deficit.

”With lack of Reconciliation between the NRA Revenue Records and the Consolidated Fund, we observed that the NRA cashbook reported excess revenue of Le143,337,524.38 compared to amount reported in the consolidated revenue report.” the report stated.

The Auditor General had cause to recommend a swift investigation into the missing money, else, the authorities involved in the suspected mess should immediately do a damage control of an instant refund of the missing funds.

That’s not all, management should come out with a clear explanation of the cause of the irregularities that have led to the leakage of the said whooping amount. Documents of evidences that fidgeters of the people’s money have paid back in accordance with all lawful protocols should also be made available in the process, and the receipt of such payment be made available to the appropriate headquarter.

”Commissioner, Non-Tax Revenue should investigate and provide explanation with documentary evidence for the difference between the consolidated revenue report and the cashbook. Otherwise, the Le143,337,524.38 reported as excess revenue in the cashbook should be paid into the Consolidated Fund and evidence of payment forwarded to the ASSL for verification,” the report has recommended.

Management of OARG were throat held over the missing funds, that they couldn’t give any response on the dubious act or precisely the incompetence act. They couldn’t say a word, and so, the matter meanwhile is left as still as a stillborn child.

The Auditor’s Comment was that, ”There was no management response to the issue and during verification, the cashbook revenue excess over the Consolidated Revenue Report was not addressed. Therefore, this issue remains unresolved.”

In another juncture of unprofessionalism, records of staff induction, training, performance appraisal as per protocols and policies were ignored in the structure of such an important institution.

The Human Resource Manager had to be tasked to rebrand his department, doing the needy by providing evidence of annual performance appraisal of staff, because there was absolutely lack of adequate staff records.

However, the Registrar General while noting the the auditors’ concern promised to address the query in accordance with the required protocols.

Majority of staff files lacked information such as letter of appointment, letter of acceptance, educational achievement, social security number, and annual performance appraisals were not done.

”We recommended that the Senior Human Resources Manager should provide evidence of annual performance appraisals,” recommends the report.

The Registrar General in his response said that, “Management has noted the auditor’s concern and frantic effort will be taken to ensure that the query is address. The affected staff will be instructed through the Senior Human Resource Officer to submit all relevant information as highlighted by the auditors to fully update their files. That, the annual performance appraisal of staff from grade 1–10 was conducted by the Senior Human Resource Officer and evidence of such are available for audit verification.”

Further, a review of both the Muslim and Christian marriage certificates registered by the Department reveals 13 marriage instruments were registered at the Department without court order, even though they have exceeded 10 days’ period as stipulated in Cap 256 Registration of Document Act.

The Report, therefore, recommends for the Registration Officer in charge of marriage certification to provide explanation with documentary evidence as to why marriage certification was done without a court order even though they had exceeded 10 days’ period as stipulated in Cap 256 Registration of the Document Act.

But the Registrar General responded that: “The marriage certificates that were registered out of time without court order were as a result of concession given for clients whose marriages were affected by the Covid-19 outbreak in the country. The process was properly planned and monitored to ensure that only those with genuine cases were given the concession in order for it not to be misused by staff in the section.”

The auditors, however, commented that tjat relevant information of queried personnel, and annual performance appraisals of staff from grade 1-10 were not submitted for verification, and therefore, the issues remain unresolved.

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