Sierra Leone Telegraph: 5 February 2019:
There is a saying: ‘If you want to tackle corruption successfully, then get the accountants on board’. President Bio is doing just that. Last week, the Institute of Chartered Accountants Sierra Leone (ICASL), met with president Julius Maada Bio at State House, where they informed the president of their support for the vision and goals of his New Direction government and his fight against corruption.
ICASL was formed by an Act of Parliament on 12 May 1988 with an overarching mandate to promote and regulate the accountancy profession in Sierra Leone and to ensure integrity, objectivity, independence, confidentiality and professionalism in the accounting profession.
President of ICASL – Buffy Bailor (Photo – Left, discussing with president Bio), said his members are aware of the commitment of the New Direction government and the efforts being made in making Sierra Leone a better place for all; adding that his institute is ready and willing to be part of the change that is already the hallmark of the new government.
Bailor said the Institute of Accountants has worked with the Minister of Finance and signed an MoU to further cement their collaborative relationship for the advancement and development of Sierra Leone.
The Institute he said, has the skills and competences to help the government tackle public finance management issues and make suggestions about enhancing transparency and accountability in the country.
“Mr President, we are aware and supportive of your fight against corruption; we can be strong partners in this fight by our inclusion in broad oversight processes in the public sector. Chartered Accountants are men and women of integrity and I assure you that your trust in us will not be misplaced.
“As an institute, we are aware of the impending Commissions of Inquiry. We wholeheartedly support the fight against corruption, and we believe that the commissions will serve as a strong deterrence to corruption in Sierra Leone. Congratulations sir, on successfully launching the commissions,” he said.
He said that the Institute has held a one-day training workshop on tax exemptions and its impact on the economy and shared a position paper with the Ministry of Finance.
The Institute he said, was a member of a Committee set up by the Ministry of Finance to review Duty Waivers and Tax Concessions.
In response, president Bio welcomed the support of accountants in helping to achieve his transformational change programme through the New Direction. He said he cannot do it alone and would need the collective support of everyone in the country.
He added: “We have suffered a lot and still do not have much to show for the minerals we have. We want to collectively move on now and make the necessary changes we need as a nation. I am happy that you have come on board and I am also excited that I have a partner in you in the fight against corruption.”