Most times, issues in the Auditor General’s Report year in, year out will go unresolved and unaccounted for because of the lack of enthusiasm by government to even follow up the recommendations in those reports.
As such, the 2015 Audit Report on the accounts of the government of Sierra Leone, the protector of the public purse, highlighted unresolved issues in the 2014 Audit Report in which the then Minister of Defence, Alfred Palo Conteh and West Star General Supplies and Davida Enterprise were indicted.
According to the report in November 2013, the former Minister of Defence, Alfred Palo Conteh on behalf of the government of Sierra Leone entered into agreements for the procurement and supply of 126 common user and specialized vehicles in two lots of 69 and 57 with Mr Alimamy Kamara representing West Star General Supplies and Mr David Conteh representing Davida Enterprises involving the sums of US $10,654,168 and US$5,058,368 respectively.
That there were ambiguity in specification in bid document and three of the vehicles supplied were automatic transmission in contravention of the specification of manual transmission specified in the agreement.
“Some of the vehicles delivered did not match or were contrary to the specification in the agreement,” the report added.
That out of the 126 vehicles, only 49 were delivered leaving an outstanding balance of 77 and that when in fact a comparison of the invoice prices were done for the same vehicles as procured by other government agencies, the vehicles were overpriced by 22 billion correspondingly US $4,455,125 and 8 billion Leones which was correspondingly US $1,623,600 at the then exchange rate of Le 4,958 by West Star General Supplies and Davida Enterprise.
That Contrary to clause 15.0 which requires that all taxes levied and other expenses related to the agreement in Sierra Leone shall be borne by the supplier.
Adding that: “there was no evidence that duties payable on the 69 and 57 vehicles to the tune of Le6.5 Billion and Le3.2 Billion respectively had been discharged by the suppliers- West Star General Supplies and Davida Enterprises”
Another issue highlighted was that even though the contract agreement stipulates that the suppliers shall provide servicing parts for a year, there was no documentary evidence to confirm that the suppliers had complied or that the spare were ever provided.
Investigation carried out by the New Age proved that both West Star General Supplies and Davida Enterprises are in fact companies that are not registered in Sierra Leone as there was no record of them at the Corporate Affairs Commission.
The current Director General of Defense, Charles Kamanda when contacted on this issue said that he was invited by the Public Account Committee (PAC) of Parliament on the issue but that he cannot respond adequately on them because he was not the director general at the period such incident occurred.
He however confirmed that Parliament has also been inviting the previous director generals to testify on the same issue.
This work is supported by Budget Advocacy Network (BAN) and powered by Christian Aid.


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