The performance audit report on the management of government vehicles tabled in parliament last month has revealed that huge amount of money was spent in the management of government vehicles between 2014 and 2017 under ex-President Koroma led APC regime.
A press release from Audit Service Sierra Leone (ASSL) revealed that between 2014 and 2017, the past APC government spent Five hundred and fifteen billion Leones (Le515,000,000,000) on acquisition, registration and maintenance of its vehicles. This huge amount, according to the release, does not include vehicles procured directly by Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in the execution of their daily operations.
The audit report also exposed gross mismanagement of state properties especially vehicles which most times were converted to personal use or sold criminally by authorities concerns in those MDAs. “Despite these amounts spent by government, MDAs are still in need of vehicles to run their day-to-day operations. There had also been reported cases of mismanagement and disorderly handling of government vehicles ranging from looting to abandonment in garages and other un-ideal places around the country” the release stated.
As ASSL’s mandate dictated in the national constitution, the institution prompted to carry out a performance audit on the management of government vehicles, to assess whether government vehicles were effectively managed by the Ministry of Transport and Aviation and the Sierra Leone Roads Safety Authority between 2014 and 2017 but its findings turned out to be in the direct opposite.
Because it findings unearthed poor management of government vehicles by the ministry and agency responsible between the stipulated years, notwithstanding, the huge amount spent by the previous regime, the present SLPP government will continue to pour huge amount of money in vehicle purchase for MDAs.
Effective monitoring and evaluation is somehow lacking in the supervising ministry in ensuring that MDAs put greater attention in the proper usage of state vehicles by its drivers.
Meanwhile, the management of government vehicles involves the processes of acquisition, registration, maintenance and disposal. The Ministry of Transport and Aviation (MTA) oversees the formulation of policies and ensures that those policies are adhered to, while Sierra Leone Roads Safety Authority (SLRSA) an autonomous body of the Ministry has the responsibility to regulate and coordinate all vehicle related issues within Sierra Leone.