NPPA downplays Auditor general’s report

By Mohamed Konneh
The Auditor General Report of 2014 revealed that 126 vehicles were overpriced by 30 billion Leones, while the 2015 Auditor General Report revealed the Ministry of Water Resources overpriced Water Bowers by 14 billion Leones. These figures can be found on page 12 of the 2014 report and page 200 of the 2015 Auditor general’s report.

This according to Mohamed Musa of the National Public procurement Authority is a mere opinion and assertion and not the true picture of what the report said.
Mr. Musa said the procurement of vehicles by the military in 2014 never materializes and that civil society should have asked the Audit service more questions on their findings. Not all reports should be taken hook line and sinker, as not all reports reflect the true picture of what is happening he said. You just do not take reports as the gospel truth.
Mr. Musa was reacting to questions during presentation of the NPPA 2018 budget at the Policy hearing and budget discussion at the Miata Conference center in Freetown. Matching prices of vehicles in country and what is put on the internet can be misleading. If you are buying a vehicle from Japan the cost of that vehicle when it is in-country will be different and the reason why we want to be producing price norm report at least twice per year.
The reaction by Mr. Musa, according to the Budget Advocacy Network Coordinator Abu Bakarr Kamara is unfortunate noting that audit report cannot be downplayed in this manner. He said concerns have been raised over the years on domestic revenue and as reported in the public accounts. The audit report cannot just be a mere opinion and if this is so, then government should stop funding the agency, he said.
The statement from Mr. Musa is unfortunate because since 2014 issues raised in the audit report have not been resolved and they keep coming up every year. The National Procurement also has the responsibility to monitor MDAs on their procurement activities so as to avoid wastages and inculcate value for money.
Mr. Kamara said the 2015 audit report stated there has been lack of audit evidence to confirm that the amount as disclosed in the public accounts is free from material misstatement. Controls around the assessment, collection and reporting of government revenue continue to be a major area of concern. Given the current fiscal issues faced by Government, and the stark austerity measures being implemented, it is of even greater importance that all monies due to Government are identified, collected, recorded and banked so that they can be spent for the public good. Recent focus has largely been on reducing Government spending to help balance the books. The other side of this coin, of course, is the need to maximise Government revenue.
So the report cannot a mere opinion or assertion as stated by Mr Musa he said. We need to treat report of this nature seriously the Budget Advocacy Network Coordinator said.

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