Thursday, January 27, 2022

Covid-19 Response…Govt. spends Le16.3bn. on Procurement

The latest update provided by the Ministry of Finance regarding expenditures from the government Covid-19 Accounts indicated that the government has so far spent 16.3 billion leones on the procurement of vehicles, motorbikes and ventilators for the overall coronavirus response in Sierra Leone.

The records show that 15.4 billion leones was spent on the procurement of 30 vehicles and 100 motorbikes for both districts and central emergency operations centres (EOCs), 60 motorbikes for the military, 40 motorbikes for the Sierra Leone Police and 30 motorbikes for the Office of National Security. Added to that, the sum of 852 million leones (852,851,657.00) was spent on the procurement of eight ventilators.

A public notice issued by the ministry on July 3rd indicates that the cumulative donation into the Covid-19 Leone Account as of July 3rd stands at 124.7 billion leones (124,754,060,400). Of this amount, 124.6 billion leones (124,651,733,367) has already been spent leaving a balance of 102,327,033 (102 million leones). The ministry reported that $55,920 was paid into the Covid-19 Foreign Account and after counting the expenditures, the available balance is just $7,203.29. 

In its letter of intent to the Managing Director of the Internationa Monetary Fund (IMF), Ms. Kristalina Georgieva, the Government of Sierra Leone requested for SDR 103.7 million (US$143 million or 50 percent of quota) under the Rapid Credit Facility (RCF) to help meet the urgent balance of payments and fiscal needs stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic. The Government stated that it will implement regulatory mechanisms for regular monitoring and reporting on the use of the Covid-19 funds, ensure integrity, accountability and transparency in the use and management of the funds and will also publish on the Government’s website large public procurement contracts related to crisis mitigation, the names of the companies awarded contracts, their beneficial owners, and ex-post validation of delivery. Though the government promised to be fully accountable and transparent with the management and use of the covid-19 funds, the unit cost of the vehicles and motorbikes and the names of the business suppliers remain a big secret.


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