ACC takes further actions in response to Auditor General’s 2019 report and 2020 covid audit report

ACC Media Unit: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 7 April 2022:

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) in this fourth media release continues to update and inform the general public on the actions taken so far on issues raised in the Auditor General’s Reports of 2019, 2020, and COVID-19 Audit Report 2020. These interventions focused on aspects of possible or alleged corruption and conducts inconsistent with the provision(s) in the Anti-Corruption Act of 2008 as amended in 2019.

After a thorough review, and analysis of the aforementioned Reports, the Commission initiated actions; with a view to investigating, prosecuting, or recovering of public finds, public revenue, public property, as the case maybe, in accordance with Sections 7, and 48 of the Anti-Corruption Act of 2008 as amended in 2019, respectively.

MINISTRY OF DEFENCE (MoD)

The COVID-19 Audit Report 2020 highlighted that; procurement regulations were not followed by the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF) for the procurement of Sixty (60) motor bikes, which led to the loss of about Five Hundred and Fifty-two Million, One Hundred and Twenty Thousand Leones (Le552,120,000), and the said bikes were not made available for physical verification. ACC investigations established the following;

a) A request was made on the 27th March 2020, for the procurement of Sixty (60) motor bikes by RSLAF, in order to patrol the various border entry points that are not motorable, and to properly monitor and screen for COVID-19.

b) That on the same date, an emergency Procurement Committee meeting was held and they approved the sole source procurement method and that a request for ‘no objection’ for the sole source method to be used was sought from the National Public Procurement Authority (NPPA) due to the urgency, and was granted.

c) That Speedwing Investment (SI) which was already in MoD’s database was requested to submit a bid for the supply of the said bikes. The bid was submitted and evaluated by MOD’s Evaluation Committee and it recommended that the contract be awarded to SI.

d) That NPPA reviewed the evaluation process and gave a concurrence for the award of the contract and on the 2nd April 2020, a contract was signed between MoD and SI for the supply of the said bikes.

e) That RSLAF initially wanted Yamaha XL 125, but was too expensive Forty Five Million (Le 45,000,000 each) for the funds available.

f) That the bikes supplied by SI (Hensimkim 125) were less in cost Twenty-one Million, Seven Hundred and Two Thousand Leones (Le 21,702,000) but were similar to the bikes in the NPPA price norm that cost of Twenty-One Million, Five Hundred Thousand Leones (21,500,000).

g) That SI procured the bikes from Kam Enterprises of 12 Pademba Road Freetown, for Twelve Million Leones (Le 12,000,000) each, who is the Sole Distributor of Kam 125 bikes in five African countries including Sierra Leone, and that the cost breakdown from SI for each bike includes; withholding tax, 15% GST, delivery, bike assembly, fuel, oil and warranty.

h) That both SI and Kam Enterprises are legitimate registered businesses with GST registration certificates.

i) That during the period of transaction, NRA GST invoice was not issued to MoD even though the payment made to SI included GST. According to MoD, it was an oversight not to have requested from the supplier the NRA invoice due to the urgent nature of the demand for the bikes, but during the course of the investigation, NRA GST invoices were submitted to ACC.

j) The investigation confirmed from the NRA that the GST owed by SI has been filed and deducted from its credit balance.

k) It is clear therefore, that RSLAF followed procurement processes in line with the NPPA Act of 2016 and that SI is part of the supply chain of bikes and not a ‘middleman’ and there was no overpricing of the bikes.

SIERRA LEONE POLICE (SLP)

The COVID-19 Audit Report 2020 alleged that; procurement regulations were not followed by SLP for the procurement of Forty (40) motor bikes which led to the loss of Three Hundred and Sixty-eight Million, and Eighty Thousand Leones (Le 368,080,000) and the said bikes were not presented for physical verification. The ACC investigations however, made the following findings;

a) That on the 27th March 2020, a request for the procurement of Forty (40) motor bikes for SLP was made to man and patrol various border points which are not motorable so that people entering the country will be properly screened of COVID-19, and on the 31st March 2020 an emergency Procurement Committee meeting was held in which a sole source procurement method was approved. This was followed by a request for ‘no objection’ for the sole source method to be used and approval from NPPA was sought, due to the urgent need of the bikes, which was granted.

b) That SI which was already in SLP’s database, was requested to submit a bid for the supply of Forty (40) motor bikes and the bid was evaluated by SLP’s Evaluation Committee and a recommendation for the award of the contract to SI was concluded. This evaluation process was later reviewed by NPPA and gave its concurrence for the award of contract to SI.

c) That on the 9th April 2020 a contract was signed between SI and SLP for the supply of the said bikes, and that the bikes supplied by SI (Hensimkim 125) were less in cost by Twenty-one Million, Seven Hundred and Two Thousand Leones (Le 21,702,000) but were similar to the bikes in the NPPA price norm that cost Twenty-One Million, Five Hundred Thousand Leones (21,500,000).

d) That SI procured the bikes from Kam Enterprises of 12 Pademba Road Freetown, for Twelve Million Leones (Le 12,000,000) each, who is the Sole Distributor of Kam 125 bikes in five African countries including Sierra Leone, and that the cost breakdown from SI for each bike includes; withholding tax, 15% GST, delivery, bike assembly, fuel, oil and warranty.

e) That during the period of transaction, NRA GST invoice was not issued to SLP even though the payment made to SI included GST. According to SLP, it was an oversight not to have requested from the supplier the NRA invoice due to the urgent nature of the demand for the bikes, but during the course of the investigation, NRA GST invoices were submitted to ACC.

f) The investigation confirmed from the NRA that, the GST owed by SI has been filed and deducted from its credit balance.

g) It is clear therefore, that the procurement process was in line with the NPPA Act of 2016 and that SI is part of the supply chain of bikes and not a “middleman’” and there was no overpricing of the bikes.

OFFICE OF NATIONAL SECURITY (ONS)

The Auditor General’s Report of 2020 on COVID-19 stated that, procurement regulations were not followed for the procurement of Thirty (30) motor bikes which led to the loss If Two Hundred and Seventy-six Million, and Sixty Thousand Leones (Le 276,060,000) and the said bikes were not presented for physical verification. The ACC investigations however, established the following;

a) That on the 1st April 2020, a request for the procurement of Thirty (30) motor bikes for ONS was made to man and patrol various border points which are not motorable so that people entering the country will be properly screened of COVID-19.

b) That on the 3rd April 2020, an emergency Procurement Committee meeting was held in which a sole source procurement method was approved. This was followed by a request for ‘no objection’ for the sole source method to be used and approval was sought from NPPA due to the urgent need of the bikes, which was granted.

c)That SI which had already delivered on a similar contract with RSLAF and SLP, was requested to submit a bid for the supply of Thirty (30) motor bikes and the bid was evaluated by the Evaluation Committee of ONS, and a recommendation for the award of the contract to SI was concluded. This evaluation process was later reviewed by NPPA and gave its concurrence for the award of contract to SI.

d) That on the 17th April 2020, a contract was signed between SI and ONS for the supply of the said bikes, and that the bikes supplied by SI (Hensimkim 125) were less in cost Twenty-one Million, Seven Hundred and Two Thousand Leones (Le 21,702,000) but were similar to the bikes in the NPPA price norm that cost Twenty-One Million, Five Hundred Thousand Leones (21,500,000).

e) That SI procured the bikes from Kam Enterprises of 12 Pademba Road Freetown, for Twelve Million Leones (Le 12,000,000) each, who is the Sole Distributor of Kam 125 bikes in five African countries including Sierra Leone, and that the cost breakdown from SI for each bike includes; withholding tax, 15% GST, delivery, bike assembly, fuel, oil and warranty.

f) That during the period of transaction, NRA GST invoice was not issued to ONS even though the payment made to SI included GST. According to ONS, it was an oversight not to have requested from the supplier the NRA invoice due to the urgent nature of the demand for the bikes, but during the course of the investigation, NRA GST invoices were submitted to ACC.

g) The investigation confirmed from the NRA that the GST owed by SI has been filed and deducted from its credit balance.

h) It is clear therefore, that the procurement process was in line with the NPPA Act of 2016 and that SI is part of the supply chain of bikes and not a ‘middleman’ and there was no overpricing of the bikes.

The ACC however note that, SI may not have had the capacity to supply bikes by themselves and a “sole source” supplier ought to have reasonable capacity. Therefore, the security sector should ensure that they include more sources in their databases.

In the spirit of complementarity, ACC continues to thank and appreciate Audit Service Sierra Leone (ASSL) for their diligence and cooperation in helping to combat corruption in Sierra Leone and Parliament for their sustained and continued support.

 

3 Comments

  1. Kudos to our ACC Commissioner Francis Ben Kaifala and his team to continue to make us proud as a nation. My only appeal is to collaborate with the Appeals Court with regards to recommendations of the just concluded COI and the government White Paper. The lifetime leader of the APC used the same appeal court to unconstitutionally sack his former Vice President Sam Sumana, so now they are dragging their feet hoping that the destructive APC party will win the 2023 presidential elections and trash the verdicts from the foreign judges of the COI.

    Finally, I hope and pray that justice will be served by seizing the palaces built by the lifetime leader of APC from his looting. Hopefully he will continue to dwell in the nests that he has already built inside the empty heads of his supporters, which will be rent or mortgage free.

  2. What about that fateful day Foday Sankoh and his band of RUF rebel without a course decided to bring war in to Sierra leone by using Liberia and the Southern Districts of our country as their launching pad to inflict mayhem, and murder to their fellow citizens.But their murderous intentions were intercepted as they tried to cross the border to Sierra Leone.Thanks to the heavy investments the Momoh government put in place to enhanced our security agencies.The Sierra leone National Security , the intelligence branch of the Ministry of defence have being tracking their movements .And they have even planted spies in the RUF /NPLF movements.And all the intelligence report have being passed on to President Momoh and his Chief of defence staff and some high ranking members of the Republic of Sierra leone Armed Forces.

    Thank to the investment to enhance our military capabilities Sierra Leone is in a league of its own in the ECOWAS region . No other military power come close.Major General MS Tarawali and his deputy Brigadier Toronkah have already drawn up military plans on how to spring a surprise at Foday Sankoh and his rebel followers .Meanwhile , the Sierra leonean Parliament have voted overwhelming for the deployment of the highly equipped Sierra leone military .With fighter jets,helicopter gun ships ,Mobile multi rockets lunches , Tanks, armoured vehicles , Soulder held rocket propelle grenades and, the Sierra leonans special forces that are already on the ground taking the fight to the rebels .And now Sierra leone is moving it’s state of the art war ships ,accompanying by field hospital ship to the war theatre in Pujehun and Kaliahun district .Suddenly Foday Sankoh and his paymasters Col.Gaddafi and Charles Taylor have realised they have bitten more than they can chew.They have endured huge losses both in rebels and materials, but to their surprise realised after all Sierra Leone is not a soft touch.

    Is a well govern democracy,who’s government is elected by it’s people .And they respect of the rule of law and free speech . Open and accountable to its people .All this fantasy through the lens of memory lane is possible, if our country is corruptupt free . Under this Bio government, it feels like Momoh 0.2 .Corrupt to the bone marrow.No plans to develop and equip Sierra Leone for the future wars .Thats what the auditor’s report is all about .Sounding the early warning system .That once again this Bio government is failing us in all spheres for failing to tackle corruption under his watch .

  3. They are all in this together.According the latest ACC report of the audit reports of 2019 -2020,it is safe to assumed the security sectors and our public service sector are some of the most corrupt institutions in Sierra Leone .The proof of the pudding is in the eating .We all recalled when our country was invaded by RUF thugs back in 1991 , our country’s security services were completely caught unawares .Because when the sun is shining you fix the roof .But the corrupt Republic of Sierra leone military leadership under Momoh was not prepared to defend our country. A paper army at the time .

    All the funding for military upgrades were ending up in thee bank balances of senior military officers. History is once again repeting itself. The Repubic of the Sierra Leone Armed forces , the Sierra Leone police and the National Security Agency are the institutions that we the ordinary citizens should looked up to both in their patriotic duties to serve in the case of the military defenders of our country’s territorial integrity and the police as holders and defenders of the laws of our lands .

    In reading this ACC report one can’t help but have a feeling of nausea and helplessness that if the Army and police can’t be trusted what hope is there for our civilian public workers that they are going to obey the rules and server our nation with integrity and selflessness.According to some reports “Systemic corruption in the public sector erodes public trust in government institutions, damages policy integrity, and distorts public sector outcomes .It also has a deep seated negative impact on the public sector in that it leaves to self -perpetuating organisational culture of corruption.”

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