The government of Sierra Leone former President Ernest Koroma spent national money/resources believing no one would ever query him despite repeated warnings from the Auditor General and the National Audit Service Agency.
The withdrawal of over Le2bn for funeral expenses in 2017 is a typical example of his spend without question policy.
Auditors have noted in 2017, over Le2 billion (Le2,320,000,000) was withdrawn from the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) account at the Bank of Sierra Leone (BSL) to defray the cost of funeral expenses of senior government officers.
There is no regulation, policy or other legal instrument to justify these disbursements, according to auditors. Section 26 (1) of the Public Financial Management Act, 2016 requires the spending of public money only when expressly authorized by the Constitution or an Act of Parliament or an appropriation under an Appropriations Act.
“In the absence of a legal instrument, such disbursements are considered ineligible, apart from the fact that no legal instrument existed for the disbursement of such funds, there was also no evidence to indicate how the stated amounts were expended on the funerals of the deceased,” said Lara Taylor-Pearce, Auditor General.
These ineligible disbursements, she stated, may create suspicion that government’s much needed funds have been misappropriated.