Sierra Leoneans are fuming over the action of Parliament in passing the 2020 Financial Act with so many anomalies which bring to question the effectiveness of members of Parliament.
The Finance Act, according to majority of Sierra Leoneans has among other things institutionalized reckless spending without any form of accountability at the level of the Presidency, legitimized high level corruption by giving the President the prerogative to award contracts on sole-sourcing on major contracts such as security-related goods, works and services.
Sierra Leoneans slammed the action of their parliamentarians whom they say are serving their own personal interests rather than the interest of their constituencies.
If the 2020 Finance Act received Presidential assent, President Bio will become the Chief Procurement Officer of all major contracts that are security related and that have to do with his office.
It should be noted that the Office of the President is a very large one and it includes the Office of National Security (ONS) and the Ministry of Defense as the President is the commander in chief of the arm forces.
That according to Section 56 Subsection 6 of the Sierra Leone Constitution, the President shall be responsible for such department of state including commission established under this constitution as he may determine.
“In the Act, section 46 of the 2016 Public Procurement Act is amended to make the President super human,” says Mohamed Kaisamba.
“Notwithstanding, Sections 1 and 2, the President may grant approval for the use of sole-sourcing in respect of the procurement of sensitive security related goods, works and service for use of the President and Vice-President on a case by case basis,” the act stated in Subsection 3 of Section 40 of the Public Finance Act of 2020.
It goes further to state that the imprest on travelling that has to do with the President, Vice President and the Speaker should not be enquired.
“Notwithstanding any provision to the contrary contained in this Act or any other legislation there shall be a non-accountable imprest to provide for daily international travel expenses excluding purchase of ticket incurred by the President and Vice President,” Section 42 Subsection 5.
According to subsection 6, the approval for such authorization of use of the non-accountable imprest referred to in subsection 5 shall be granted by the President.
Approving the Finance Act, Parliament amended Section 42 Subsection 5 to include the Speaker of Parliament.
A ruling party Member of Parliament in the Western Urban, Hon Ibrahim Tawa Conteh stated that Section 42 is not in the interest of Sierra Leoneans and it will be used against them in the 2023 elections.