By State House Communication Unit
In an effort to seek and promote the welfare of citizens, President Dr Ernest Bai Koroma today Tuesday May 17 2016 summoned the appropriate authorities at State House to update him on the current water situation in Freetown, and also later received an Administrative Inquiry Report on allegations of misconduct in the management of the GAVI Alliance Funds Part 1.
Updating the president on the ministry’s immediate strategies in handling the current water crisis, the Minister of Water Resources Momodu Maligie reported of repairing of leaking scour valve in the Guma dam that had long been plugged and thus reducing the volume of water from the dam; handing over of seven (7) water bowsers to Guma to supply water to communities in the capital; installation/rehabilitation of water tanks and bowser deliveries; network improvement to increase on water pressure to reach communities on the extreme end of the network; construction of bowser collection points for tanks to be installed at Mogegba, Grafton, has been completed and 8000 liters tanks will be mounted and networked on the platform today; special team for leakage detection and fixing is put in place and operating mostly in the western part of the city where leakage challenges are huge; development of smaller sources of water to augment the bigger sources; development/rehabilitation of boreholes which out of the ten existing boreholes only five can be repaired; communications and community outreach for the communication of correct versions as against the propaganda theory on the social media.
With the above strategies, Minister Maligie said that there has been considerable improvement on the availability and access to water in the capital, saying “it is expected that on the completion of the collection point at Mogegba and the rehabilitation of some of the boreholes, we will experience significant improvement in serving communities living on the east end of the city.”
In another engagement, President Koroma received part one of the Administrative Inquiry Report on the Allegations of Misconduct in the Management of the GAVI Alliance Funds from the Public Service Commission (PSC). According to Dr Max Amadu Sesay, the president’s directive to the PSC to look into the GAVI Funds matter was in conformity with Regulation 14 of the Public Service Commission Regulations of 1982 and Rule 11:32 of the Civil Service Code, Regulations and Rules.
Dr Sesay said that after careful investigation into the irregularity identified in the GAVI audit report, the Disciplinary Committee has not found any of the nine (9) officers culpable. “On all the issues of irregularity identified in the GAVI audit report, Your Excellency, I can report authoritatively and without any fear of contradiction that the PSC Disciplinary Committee was unable to establish that any of the nine (9) officers was culpable,” chairman of the Commission Dr Max Sesay stated, adding that none of those officers had executive responsibility for either the management or disbursement of GAVI funds, and in fact, most of them had little or no knowledge that their work was funded by GAVI.
Dr Sesay further stated in the report that the evidence available to the Committee pointed unequivocally in the direction of compliance by these officers with GoSL accounting regulations on the issue of Daily Sustenance Allowance (DSA), which he said was admittedly at variance with GAVI standards of financial management and accounting. On account of this, the Committee according to Dr. Sesay, exonerated all nine affected officers and recommended that all those officers who are below the statutory age of retirement be reinstated in the service by the Director General of Human Resources Management Office (HRMO) and deployed in accordance with their areas of specialty.
The Committee therefore recommended that the GAVI donors should consider reviewing their policies or approach to managing projects in Sierra Leone’s health sector, particularly in the area of financial management and accounting.