What has been viewed as an affront to the Presidency is the action of officials of the Ministry of Finance in respect to a memo written by the Secretary to the President in 2018, in which it informed the ministry that the Audit Service Sierra Leone is exempted from the Executive Order 1 in relation to the Treasury Single Account.
This lack of respect for the authority of the SP was further displayed by the Director of Legal Affairs in the Ministry of Finance, Farik Alghali during the Friday good morning Salone show, aired on Radio Democracy, in which he said that the memo of the SP in respect of the exemption of the ASSL in the order is merely the opinion of the Secretary to the President and that he is not a lawyer. Unfortunately, the interviewer read another portion of the said memo from the SP in which it was clearly stated that the President approved the contents of the said memo.
On Thursday last week, during the Ministry of Information weekly press conference, Sahr Jusu, the Financial Secretary, who started this whole debacle by the letter written to the ASSL questioning their failure to deposit all monies into the TSA, again stated that he is ready to challenge anybody that the Audit Service Sierra Leone should pay all monies into the TSA in accordance with the Executive Order 1 of 2018. What is interesting is that Sahr Jusu should know that the letter of the Secretary to the President in 2018 sent to them clarifying the position of the President on the said order, thereby exempting the ASSL from it, is a clear indication of the President’s decision, as in the said memo the Secretary in choosing his word, wrote:
“In view of the forgoing, you are hereby directed to exempt Audit Service Sierra Leone from the action proposed in your Memorandum under review. Let me again reiterate that the independence of this institution should be maintained at all times to ensure continued good standing in the Public Financial Management realm of Sierra Leone.
5. This Memorandum is issued with the approval of His Excellency the President”
Excerpt from the memo written to the Financial Secretary, Sahr Jusu by the Secretary to the President on 25th May 2018, on the subject: Audit Service Sierra Leone Independence Issue and copied to the Auditor General and Accountant General. Thus the action by the Financial Secretary, including his utterances at the weekly press briefing is an affront to the Presidency, as there is no way the Secretary to the President will issue a memo on such a serious issue without the consent of the President, as he rightly indicated in the said memo to the FS. Why has the FS failed to recognise the authority of the President as indicated by the said Memo, in which it is clearly disclosed that the memo was issued with the approval of the President?
Some social commentators are wondering what is becoming of the authority of the President that a memo from the Secretary To the President no longer has weight on subordinate staff to whom they are addressed?
Please see Memo to the Secretary to the President on the said issue by the FS dated 16th May 2018 and the response to same by the Secretary to The President to the FS on 25th May 2018 below: