According to the audit review conducted by the Audit Service Sierra Leone (ASSL) of government funds and assets allocated to ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) for the period under review, it has emerged that the Mines Ministry did not properly account for monies dispensed.
The ASSL 2014 report states that the Performance Contract signed between the President and the Mines Minister and the appraisal of the contracts were not produced to assess whether the targets set out in the contract were achieved by the Ministry within the specified time frame.
It was recommended that the PS should ensure that the performance contract is submitted for inspection.
However, the PS stated that the performance contract signed between the President and the Mines Minster was produced for audit inspection.
He however said they did not have control over the appraisal. He further said that the office of the Chief of Staff (CoS) should be able to provide the result on the contract signed.
Furthermore, it was observed that ten of 17 performance targets set out in the Performance Tracking Table (PTT) signed between His Excellency the President and the Minister of Mines and Mineral Resources were not achieved by the Ministry at the targeted timeline during the year under review.
According to the ASSL 2014 report there were also outstanding issues in the previous year’s audit which were as follows: A new verification was done during which 25 staff did not avail themselves; There were 15 staff without NASSIT identification numbers; There were still five staff who had attained the retirement age of 60 years who were still receiving salaries; Unclaimed salaries of MMOs which totaled Le18,589,560 were not paid back into the MMF account; and Payment to the tune of Le13,051,154 was made to MMOs whose names were not on the approved MMOs staff list.
At the National Minerals Agency (NMA) the ASSL 2014 report noted the revenue not budgeted for in the Annual Budget by indicating that the sum of Le 661,273,007 was collected from 1st January to 30th December 2014 as revenue from various income streams but that the said sum was not paid into the Consolidated Revenue Fund.
It was recommended that NMA management should ensure that in future, all revenue collected by the Agency is paid into the CRF as stated in Section 18 of the National Mineral Agency Act, 2012 and that it must also ensure that that amount be remitted to the CRF.
However, the NMA Director General (DG) stated that all revenue generated from the administration of mineral rights and other regulatory functions carried out by the National Minerals Agency (NMA) were paid into the CRF and receipts issued by NRA.
He added that NMA only collected fees for the processing of applications for mineral rights, verification of minerals samples and sealing them for further laboratory verification overseas; printing geological maps for investors and other interested stakeholders, etc.
He further noted that fees derived from those services were to cover the costs incurred in providing them on a cost recovery basis and that the Agency utilizes some of the funds to meet its operational costs especially on monitoring activities of artisanal mining in throughout the country.