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$1 billion lost to fraud and mismanagement in Sierra Leone over a two-year period

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A forensic audit conducted last year by a team of local and international auditors has revealed that Sierra Leone lost US$1.036 billion in two years.

This was due to fraud and mismanagement by public officials in the last administration of former President Ernest Bai Koroma, the Ministry of Finance said on Tuesday, 2 April 2019.

The Special Technical Audit was carried out on four sectors: telecommunications, civil works, energy and social security, and covering a period between 2016 and 2018, when Koroma’s administration came to an end following general elections that brought his successor President Julius Maada Bio into office.

The auditing exercise, supported by the UK’s international development agency – DFID – is in fulfilment of recommendations contained in the Government Transition Team (GTT) report which alleged widespread corruption under the former administration.

The GTTI was set up by President Bio to investigate the state of the country’s economy when he assumed office in April 2018.

The over 50 auditors, comprising 43 foreign auditors from Kenya, Tanzania and Ghana, investigated a total of eleven institutions, including the National Telecommunications Commission, the National Social Security and Insurance Trust and the Electricity Distribution and Supply Authority.

The auditors, who comprised financial and performance auditors from the Supreme Audit Institutions of the three foreign countries, comprised staff with specialist skills in civil engineering, telecoms, pensions and investment, according to the Audit Service Sierra Leone, which hired the services of the international auditors.

Sierra Leone’s Auditor-General, Lara Taylor-Pearce, had made the request from the three countries through the African Organisation of English-speaking Supreme Audit Institutions (AFROSAI-E) to assist in the technical auditing.

– APA

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