THE ANTI-CORRUPTION COMMISSION A Report on Systems Review of by TommyWoodcock

VIEWS: 14 PAGES: 45

									 THE ANTI-CORRUPTION COMMISSION




A Report on Systems Review of
  MINISTRY OF EDUCATION




                            July, 2009
ACRONYMS


ACC        -       Anti-Corruption Commission

ADB        -       African Development Bank

CSG        -       Civil Society Group

CTA            -    Community Teachers Association

DEO        -       District Education Office

ED         -       Education

EMIS       -       Education Management Information System

GOSL       -       Government of Sierra Leone

IFMIS      -       Integrated Financial Management Information System

IDB        -       Islamic Development Bank

LC         -       Local Councils

LGFD       -       Local Government Finance Department

MEYS       -       Ministry of Education Youth and Sports

NGO        -       Non-Governmental Organization

PRSP       -       Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper

PU         -       Procurement Unit

SAAC       -       Scholarship Award Advisory Committee

SMC        -       School Management Committee

TSC        -        Teachers Service Commission

UPE        -       Universal Primary Education




                                                                        2
                              Table of Contents
                                                           Page
      Acronyms                                         -   2
      Table of Contents                                -   3-4
1.0   Executive Summary                                -   5
2.0   Background Information                           -   6
3.0   Scope and Methodology                            -   7
4.0   Major Findings                                   -   8
4.1   Payment and Utilization of Fees Subsidy          -   8
4.2   Illegal Charges                                  -   9
4.3   Budget Processes                                 -   10
4.4   Procurement Management                           -   10
4.5   Teaching and Learning Materials                  -   11
4.6   Teacher Recruitment, Promotions and Transfers    -   11
4.7   Teacher Absenteeism/Loss of Instructional Time   -   12
4.8   Teacher Certification                            -   12
4.9   Code of Conduct                                  -   13
4.1.0 Educational Missions                             -   13
4.1.1 School Management Committee                      -   13
4.1.2 Grant-in-Aid/Scholarship                         -   14
4.1.3 Study Leave                                      -   14
4.1.4 Assets Management                                -   14
4.1.5 Stores Management                                -   14
4.1.6 Staffing                                         -   15
4.1.7 Foreign Aid and Project Management               -   15
4.1.8 Policy Formulation                               -   16
4.1.9 Change Management                                -   16
4.2.0 Records Management                               -   16
4.2.1 Internal Auditing                                -   17
4.2.2 Project and Foreign Aid Management               -   18
4.2.3 Inspectorate Division                            -   19

                                                                  3
5.0   Recommendations                                  -   19
5.1   Payment and Utilisation of Fees Subsidy          -   19
5.2   Grant-in-Aid and other Academic Awards           -   20
5.3   Subvention Allocation to Tertiary Institutions   -   20
5.4   Backlog Salary Payment to Teachers               -   20
5.5   Budget Process                                   -   21
5.6   Financial Reporting                              -   21
5.7   Procurement Management                           -   21
5.8   Stores Management                                -   21
5.9   Assets Management                                -   23
5.1.0 Teaching and Learning Materials                  -   23
5.1.1 Human Resource Management and Administration     -   24
5.1.2 Teacher Recruitment                              -   24
5.1.3 Ghost Teachers                                   -   24
5.1.4 Extension Schools                                -   24
5.1.5 School Management Committees                     -   25
5.1.6 Teacher Code of Conduct                          -   25
5.1.7 Teacher Study Leave                              -   26
5.1.8 Illegal Charges                                  -   26
5.1.9 Financial Management                             -   26
5.2.0 Strategic Policy and Planning                    -   26
5.2.1 Change Management                                -   27
5.2.2 Records Management                               -   27
5.2.3 Internal and External Auditing                   -   28
5.2.4 Project and Foreign Aid Management               -   28
5.2.5 Inspectorate Division                            -   29
      Appendix I                                       -   30
      Appendix II                                      -   41




                                                                4
1.0     EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Sierra Leone’s educational system during the nineteenth century was a good example of
Western style education in sub-Saharan Africa. The country was an important centre in
training professionals for the whole of West Africa. Fourah Bay College was regarded as
the “ATHENS OF WEST AFRICA”. But other African nations have forged ahead of
Sierra Leone while her pace has decreased significantly in the delivery of educational
services. After independence, there was pressure to change the education system, but it
wasn’t until the 1990s that these changes were actualized. Reforms were proposed so that
the education system will serve the socio- economic needs of the country more closely,
centering on increasing access to education, particularly primary.


The primary reason for the dysfunction in the educational sector was the eleven years civil
war wherein all of Sierra Leone’s goals and aspirations were put on hold. Much of the
country’s infrastructure - including schools were destroyed, population displaced,
culminating into a shortage of schools and teachers. The main objective of having a
universal basic education for all children is an enormous challenge to achieve as “reports
indicate that at the end of the war in 2001, 67 percent of school going children were out of
school.”1


Based on the Government’s 2006 Country Status Report and the 2004 Poverty Reduction
Strategy Paper (PRSP), the Ministry of Education developed the Education Sector Plan
aimed at mapping out how the Government of Sierra Leone (GOSL) will build on the
education gains made after the war. A goal was set that; by the year 2015 all children will
be going to school and receiving quality education. In addressing the challenges impacting
the educational sector, the Ministry proffered the following strategies:
-            To meet the challenges of current and future demands of a Universal Primary
Education (UPE).
-            Expand school facilities with the expectation that every child should have access
             to quality education no matter the child’s location in the country.


1
 1 “Sierra Leone”. 2001 findings on the worst forms of child labor. Bureau of International Labour
Affairs, US Department of Labor (2002)
                                                                                                     5
-          Upgrade existing facilities, provide textbooks, provide teaching/learning
           materials and double the amount of teaching hours that are currently being
           offered.
-          Return Sierra Leone’s educational sector to the status of “ATHENS OF
           AFRICA” by improving on positive attitude towards schooling.


One of the main factors inhibiting the provision and delivery of the aforesaid services has
been the sustained presence of corruption. The Education Sector beginning with the
Ministry to the Frontline service providers have been discovered to have a number of
corrupt opportunities ranging from poor financial management procedures, general
administrative lapses to ineffective delivery of services. This is not suggesting that there
were no good practices. The review therefore, is intended to examine these issues and
recommend relevant practices to strengthen accountability and transparency in the delivery
of educational services.


2.0    BACKGROUND INFORMATION:
The ACC is charged with the responsibility to conduct comprehensive systems review in
Ministries, Departments and Agencies with a view of identifying structural vulnerabilities,
develop Best Practices and monitor the level of compliance.


The Commission was legally constituted to examine practices and procedures of Ministries,
Departments and other public bodies through reactive and pro-active means. The
Commission has over the years made series of interventions in corruption related matters
brought to its attention by reports made directly or through newspaper publications. The
outcomes of these examinations have in most cases been, a breach of procedures resulting
in corruption charges. Best Practices bordering on various issues have been developed and
presented to the Ministry for compliance.


The review conducted by ACC in the Ministry of Education is a proactive intervention
emanating in part from the Commission’s Strategic Plan which was developed in 2008 for
a period of five years, the outcome of a three day workshop in April 2008 organised by the


                                                                                          6
Commission in collaboration with the U4 – Anti- Corruption Resource Centre based in
Germany on enhancing transparency and accountability in the education sector of Sierra
Leone and a managerial accountability workshop conducted at regional levels for senior
managers in four ministries, which included the Ministry of Education.


All these identified several administrative lapses and vulnerabilities leading to development
of action plans to effectively deal with the identified corruption issues. In view of the
aforementioned, the review set the stage for an effective proactive effort in the fight against
corruption.


3.0     SCOPE AND METHODOLOGY:
This review exercise is intended to study the procedures, processes and effectiveness of
institutional frameworks as well as policies adopted in ensuring effective service delivery to
the education sector in Sierra Leone. Data collected for this report was by means of
questionnaires, in-depth interviews, review and analysis of policy documents including
reports, articles and administrative instruments.


A sample of all staff in the Headquarter and in the regions working with implementing
units in service delivery was interviewed for this report.


The data collection method takes two major dimensions. Primary and secondary sources
were used to meet the information requirements of the systems review. The primary
sources include data directly gathered from the field. It entails direct contacts with selected
relevant persons with the required information. Focus group discussions were conducted
involving regional and district Education Officers, Supervisors of Schools, Heads of Units
and Head teachers of sample Primary schools in each of the regions visited.


The secondary sources include literature containing information on the Sierra Leone
educational system. This includes reports on the U4 training programme on enhancing
transparency and accountability in the education sector of Sierra Leone, managerial




                                                                                             7
accountability workshops, records management for teachers and materials from the
internet were consulted to add value to the review exercise.
 These data enabled the review team to gather sufficient information on the background as
well as bring out pertinent experiences of other educational systems in the delivery of
educational services to the people of Sierra Leone. . Being that the education sector is dynamic, it
likely that some changes might occur before this report is published.


4.0   MAJOR FINDINGS:
      FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT:
Issues relating to financial management and reporting featured prominently in the review
exercise.


4.1      PAYMENT AND UTILISATION OF FEES SUBSIDY
In its bid to provide free and quality education to primary schools, the Sierra Leone
Government introduced the system to subsidise the payment of school fees. This payment
is done through the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development directly into the
schools accounts and supervised by the Local Councils in collaboration with the Ministry
of Education, Youth and Sports. Government pays the sum of Le2, 000 per child per term.


These monies are calculated based on the school rolls. Findings indicate that the Ministry
of Finance and Economic Development and Planning lacks adequate and updated data on
school enrolment. Old school enrolments are used in the calculation of fees subsidy, which
deprives most schools from receiving their required amount based on their current school
rolls. At the same time, there are schools that receive more subsidies than their enrolments
because of inflated school rolls.


Where accurate and up-to-date data is not available, this might cause the Ministry of
Finance to make payment on the old data, which will result to some schools been
disadvantaged whilst others receive more than required.


There is no codified guideline in the utilization of fees subsidy. Therefore, some heads of
schools are misusing the funds allocated to cover administrative and development cost. In
the review process also, it was discovered from respondents that fees subsidy are not paid

                                                                                                   8
on time. Almost all schools receive fees subsidy for the first term at the beginning of the
second term. This has also caused the schools to demand from the pupils to meet the
schools financial obligations. School heads are obliged to do pre-financing in the
management of the schools. In most cases therefore, head teachers use their personal funds
to finance school budgets.


In observing the utilization of fees subsidy, most of the funds are used to cover travel
expenses for school personnel in carrying out activities on behalf of the school. This
opportunity is most times misused. Private travels are sometimes paid for from the school
funds.


4.2      ILLEGAL CHARGES
School authorities levy extra-charges, which brings huge financial burden on parents. Some
parents invariably keep their children from attending classes because they are unable to
meet these unnecessary illegal financial requirement imposed on them by school
authorities.


Our study revealed that a greater percentage of schools and colleges levy illegal charges by
either paying for pamphlets, extra lessons, incentives for volunteer teachers in the rural
areas, payments for school feeding condiments, renovation, sports, parties etc. These
payments are in most cases counter productive as it limits the enrolment and retention
rates in schools, especially for pupils who come from poor homes.


Normal school classes are now becoming an embarrassment to government because
teachers concentrate on extra lessons outside of the normal workday and demand illegal
charges from students and parents.


4.3      BUDGET PROCESSES
In the Ministry, various unit heads prepare their budgets which show priority areas in the
spending and management of their programmes. These budgets are forwarded to the
Accounts Office, for onward submission to the Ministry of Finance for approval. However,


                                                                                          9
when the Ministry of Finance approves the required funds, the information is not
communicated to the unit heads either by copy or publishing on the notice boards. As
such, they do not know the activities that have been funded. As a result, most proposals
forwarded to the finance office from these units are not approved.


4.4    PROCUREMENT MANAGEMENT
Procurement, being an essential unit of the Ministry charged with the role of procuring
goods, works, and services is largely incapacitated in terms of logistics in doing an efficient
job, compounded by poor monitoring activity during and after the procurement process.


The Ministry has a procurement unit that functions to procure goods, services and works
on behalf of the Ministry. However, some of these functions have been devolved to the
local councils such as the procurement of teaching and learning materials and furniture.
This unit is functioning with constraints, which affects efficient and effective service
delivery system. Some of the constraints include lack of office equipment and insufficient
or unavailability of qualified staff. Furthermore, there is complete lack of contract
monitoring system. The design of the monitoring system is crucial. Once the contract is
signed, monitoring is the chief means of safeguarding against contracting problems and
ensuring that citizens are obtaining high quality services at competitive prices.




4.5    TEACHING AND LEARNING MATERIALS
As part of its plan to provide free education in the country, the government is providing
teaching and learning materials mainly at the basic education level. With recent
developments, the Local Councils in collaboration with the Ministry of Education do
procurement of teaching and learning materials. However, there is no policy document
guiding the use of teaching and learning materials. In addition, there is a lack of proper
coordination between NGOs and the Ministry in terms of supplying of these materials
which resulted in some schools receiving more supplies whilst others receive very few or
none at all. Furthermore, some schools have poor storage facilities and as such, head


                                                                                            10
teachers keep teaching and learning materials in their houses. This has often led to the
damage and pilfering of these materials as most of them find their way into the parallel
market (black market). In some schools, abandoned offices were littered with unused
textbooks destroyed by bugs.


4.6    TEACHER RECRUITMENT, PROMOTIONS AND TRANSFERS
Teacher recruitment and performance form another area of concern. There are indications
that intending teachers present false documents, which do not reflect their educational
qualifications as certified teachers. This does not only drain the Ministry’s budget in terms
of teacher salaries, it also adulterates or undermines the quality of teaching in schools


There are instances where teachers are requested to deliver their services without any
appointment by the Ministry of Education. While on other occasions, most teachers are
not privy to the recruitment process especially the stage of approvals. There are cases
where head teachers understated the total number of teachers for their schools in one
report (for the purpose of requesting for more teachers) and overstated in another for the
payroll. Such cases are rarely detected because of irreconcilable record keeping.


Again, teacher’s recruitment is discovered to be cumbersome because approvals are
centralized at headquarter which is delayed in most instances.


The review team also noted that the transfer of teachers was effected between schools
without any reflection in the salary vouchers. In light of the above, principals and head
teachers pay salaries to teachers who are no longer under their direct supervision. The
transferred teacher in the above case, often does not take directives from the head teacher
or principal of his/her newly transferred school since he receives salaries from his/her
previous school. At the same time, when the civil status of especially female teachers
change they are hardly reflected in the current salary vouchers. They continue receiving
salaries using their maiden names whilst using their marital name during school hours.
The change of civil status with respect to female teachers distorts school records especially
when the two names are used for official purposes in the school.


                                                                                            11
It was discovered that there are inconsistencies and delays in the salary grading system of
genuine teachers who have acquired higher qualifications with requisite experience. This
serves as a de-motivating factor for hard working and committed teachers.


4.7    TEACHER ABSENTEEISM/ LOSS OF INSTRUCTIONAL TIME
Teacher absenteeism has become rampant in the schools. The teaching career is considered
a transition career for new and potential graduates, and as such, much of there time is
spent in either part time assignments else where or in search of better and rewarding jobs.
In another instance, though the teachers regularly go to school, they hardly attend their
scheduled classes; and at worst where they do, they engage in activities other than teaching
the pupils. This practice has led to a loss in instructional time which can hardly be
compensated.


4.8    TEACHER CERTIFICATION
Documents relating to teacher certification, teaching hours and yearly teacher evaluation
performance are hardly traceable. In instances where data are available, they have been
found to be inadequate and unreliable.       At the Ministry, the creation of Education
Management Information System (EMIS) has not changed much of the problems
encountered with records management. Records at EMIS are not normally referred to in
making decisions on school rolls.


4.9    CODE OF CONDUCT
As part of the review process, it was realised that all of the schools do not have codes of
conduct for teachers. In cases of teacher misbehaviour, they only enforce either queries or
warnings. The absence of the codes of conduct of teachers, a legal document that guides
teacher’s behaviour within and outside the schools, germinates unethical behaviour from
teachers.




                                                                                         12
4.1.0    EDUCATIONAL MISSIONS
Most educational missions, if not all, have made attempts in opening extension/feeder
schools, in some cases without the approval of the Ministry. These feeder schools enjoy
government assistance through their main schools. This leads to transfer of teachers to
other schools and a depletion of the limited supply of teaching and learning materials
available for use in the parent schools. Teachers in the extension schools still receive
salaries on the main vouchers of these parent schools. Opening extension schools without
the approval of the Ministry creates unnecessary financial burden on government and is a
recipe for the existence of ghost schools.


4.1.1    SCHOOL MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE
The School Management Committee (SMC) formed from amongst members of the
community principally exist to assist and advice school authorities in the administration of
primary schools. These committees are in most cases not effective and in worst situations
they are non existent in other schools. Some head teachers do not seek advice or approvals
from the SMCs before the utilisation of fees subsidy. Their status therefore, is almost
becoming redundant. Though the Education Act2 makes provision of the composition of
SMCs, their roles and responsibilities are yet to be clarified.


4.1.2    GRANT-IN-AID/SCHOLARSHIP
The provision of Grant-in-Aid/Scholarship was noted to be partly subjective since the
Minister reserves the authority to do final approvals to the recommendations and make
changes to the final list without recourse to any member or members of the Grant-in-
Aid/Scholarship Committees. The review also reveals that some students have to pay
kickbacks to awarding officials as incentive to gain favors in the award process. This
situation leads to unfair distribution of the limited grant-in-aid and scholarship.




2
  Act No 2 of 2004. Section 33 provides that The Minister shall establish a school management committee
in respect of any government assisted primary school and every management committee so established
shall assist in the management of that school in accordance with rules made by the Minister under this Act.
                                                                                                         13
4.1.3   STUDY LEAVE:
Even though there is a policy on study leave for teachers who desire to acquire higher
qualifications, yet the policy is not strictly adhered to. For instance, it was discovered in
the findings that some teachers are awarded study leave without meeting the required
criteria. Also study leaves are awarded to people who do not have any teaching experience
because of family affiliation, bribery and other related causes. This has often deprived
deserving teachers to proceed on study leave. In the same vein, government looses huge
amount yearly in servicing undeserving people who are granted study leave.


4.1.4   ASSETS MANAGEMENT:
The Ministry procures several capital assets. However, the management of these assets are
unsatisfactory. There is no policy on assets management. All acquisition of physical capital
assets is not recorded in the accounts and appropriate registers at the time of acquisition.
As such the custody and responsibility of these assets to a very large extent are not assigned
to the appropriate authority. In the majority of cases, moveable assets are not identified as
public property and kept away from unauthorized use. Assets are not periodically and
physically inspected, then compared with the records to verify their existence, condition,
location and use.


4.1.5   STORES MANAGEMENT:
The Ministry maintains stores where consumable supplies, materials, etc are stored. These
stores are not operating in accordance with the laid down store rules and as such, record
keeping is in a parlous state. Store items are not physically secured from theft, fire, damage
and deterioration in value. The store items are also not coded to ensure easy identification.
The management of stores serves as an important area in the Ministry. Stores items are
not properly accounted for since the store management procedures and guidelines are not
strictly adhered to.


4.1.6   STAFFING:
In 2005, a functional review done by the Governance Reform Secretariat indicated that
there were serious problems with staffing in the Ministry. The findings indicate that


                                                                                           14
staffing has become a very complex issue. It was found out that it was difficult for the
Ministry to know how many staff it actually had. Recently, the Ministry undertook
verification of its staff to ascertain the statistics of workers in the Ministry. The review team
considers this to be a good practice in ensuring efficient human resource management.


Some staff who had been on working experience at the MEYS had been subsequently co-
opted into the Ministry. Their names have been posted on the payroll with pin numbers
but without any appointment letters from the Establishment Secretary’s Office (ESO) now
Human Resource Management Office (HMRO). This violates the employment procedures
and creates the possibility of distorting employment records at the Establishment office.


4.1.7    FOREIGN AID AND PROJECT MANAGEMENT: (compare this with 4.2.2)
Foreign aid and project management in the Ministry is detached from the office of the
Principal Accountant. These projects operate their own accounts separately, because of an
agreement between the Ministry and the Project Director. The level of accountability in
such an arrangement can be reasonably questioned since the Principal Accountant is the
custodian of funds belonging to the Ministry for project implementation and other related
activities.


In another instance, authorities of the communities within which the projects are
implemented do not have knowledge on the Bill of Quantities reflecting project
specifications. Monitoring of these projects has been largely ineffective.


This division is comprised of Inspector of Schools whose basic function is to carryout
monitoring and supervision in schools. The findings indicate that inspectors have
numerous constraints which render them ineffective and inefficient in the delivery of
services and assignments.       Some of these constraints are mobility, travel expenses
undertaken from their private pockets and not reimbursed.




                                                                                              15
4.1.8   POLICY FORMULATION:
Every public sector service provider needs clear and coherent policies to guide decision-
making and to enable effective planning over short, medium and long terms. Efficient
delivery rests on effective planning and this in turn is reliant upon sound, clear policy
making. In the MEYS, there is little or no effective policy, thus making support and
enforcement of policies difficult. There are no written policies on personnel, and human
resource development, records and information management.


4.1.9   CHANGE MANAGEMENT:
Change management is a fundamental competency needed by managers, supervisors, and
officers. Specific change management strategies must be designed and implemented in line
with technical system changes. Without such strategies even if the technical
implementation may succeed, the impact on the business objectives will be undesirable.


4.2.0   RECORDS MANAGEMENT:
Records management is fundamental to any accounting process. In the context of
governance, not only do records provide the underlying source of data, it also provides a
direct link to transparency and accountability. It is now widely recognized that
improvements in the management of finance are necessary if accountability is to be
enhanced and corruption and fraud reduced.


Records management has been considered to be in a parlous state in all sectors of the
Ministry especially the Accounts unit, which manages the finances of the Ministry. This is
largely due to lack of proper administrative arrangement, personnel and training.


In addition, there are poor storage facilities for the physical custody of records at the record
section such as lack of storage space and security of records, which includes fire, flood
control and protection from unauthorised access. In this section also, records are also not
physically preserved in a clean, tidy and organised environment. Controlling the physical
environment will reduce the risk of records been damaged by pests, mould dust and
mishandling.


                                                                                             16
Most of the schools visited do not maintain personal files for teachers. Few of the schools
that created personal files for their teachers had the problem of updating them regularly.
Similarly, it was also discovered that attendance registers and school timetables are
maintained in most of the schools but such registers are not properly designed to provide
the required evidence of the actual period the teachers spend in the school. Master
timetables do not include names of teachers in the schools as a corroborative evidence of
the existence of teachers. When personal files are not regularly updated, the head teachers
find it difficult to take decisions on teachers and also audit trail will be distorted.


4.2.1   INTERNAL AUDIT:
The Ministry has an Internal Audit Unit that does internal auditing which puts internal
controls in place as part of management and accountability functions. The Internal Audit
Unit is highly incapacitated. Staff do not have the required qualifications and continuous
training appears to be non- existent. These factors negatively impact the internal audit unit
in operating effectively.


It was also realized that managers and employees do not maintain and demonstrate
positive and supportive attitude towards internal control measures put in place by both
internal and external auditors. As such officers are left to do things at their whims and
caprices.


Managers prepare budget and submit to the finance office without any scrutiny by the
Internal Audit Unit. The involvement of the Internal Audit Unit only happens when
carrying out post audit. In carrying out pre-audit before approving budgets for the
implementation of activities can sometimes prevent the risk of misappropriation in a large
multi- skilled Ministry of Education




                                                                                          17
4.2.2   PROJECT AND FOREIGN AID MANAGEMENT: (see 4.1.7 – they seem the
same)
Aid management is defined in the context of project management as the process by which
a recipient Ministry integrate external and internal resources in the implementation of its
development programmes and activities. The Ministry has projects that are sponsored by
African Development Bank (ADB) and the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) e.g. the
Sababu Education Project which is one of the projects dealing with rehabilitation/
reconstruction of educational infrastructure. The project has project directors and
accountants. However, in agreement with the Ministry, the project accounts are kept
separately from the main accounts of the Ministry. The review team considers this as
inappropriate. The Principal Accountant in this case would have no knowledge on the
financial management of these projects because he/she is a representative from the
Ministry of Finance that oversees the financial management in the Ministry. The Principal
Accountants should be seen to supersede the Project Accountants.


In carrying out the projects activities in the communities such as the construction of
schools, in most cases members of the communities do not have any knowledge of the
specification of the schools that are going to be constructed. As a result, these people are
incapacitated in carrying out monitoring activities on the construction projects.


Monitoring of project activity is one area that is lacking in the Ministry of Education.
Project supervisors collude with contractors in issuing certificate of performance at the
various stages of contract performance. This has often resulted to service providers having
the leeway to provide poor service delivery and wastage of government resource with
impunity.




4.2.3   INSPECTORATE DIVISION:
This division is comprised of Inspector of Schools whose basic function is to carryout
monitoring and supervision in schools. The findings indicate that inspectors have


                                                                                         18
numerous constraints that render them ineffective and inefficient in the delivery of services
and assignments. Some of these constraints are mobility, travel expenses undertaken from
their private pockets and not reimbursed. Though in most instances their reports are acted
upon, there are some occasions when decisions are hardly taken on such findings due to
budgetary constraints.


5.0     RECOMMENDATIONS:


5.1     PAYMENT AND UTILISATION OF FEES SUBSIDY:
The criteria for payment of school fees subsidy be revised to reflect the current economic
trend by a way of an increase in the amount paid per child. Discretionary allocation of
subsidies to schools must be replaced with rule based strategy which establishes clear lines
of accountability and transparency. A policy guideline on the payment and utilization of
fees subsidy must be developed


The Ministry of Education must confer with EMIS on current school enrolment before
supplying any data on school enrolment to the Ministry of Finance for the payment of fees
subsidy.


School committees, inspectors of schools, civil society groups and parents must have a
strong voice (client power) in demanding accountability from head teachers in the use of
fee subsidies.


The Commission strongly recommends that a prompt payment of fees subsidy be made at
the beginning of every term and that all school heads that receive fees subsidy must make
returns to the local councils before subsequent payments. Also, the councils are required to
make terminal reports to the Ministry on the payment and utilization of fee subsidies.


Travelling allowances, reimbursement for teachers should be part of the development of
the policy on the utilization of fees subsidy.




                                                                                          19
5.2    GRANT-IN-AID AND OTHER ACADEMIC AWARDS:
ACC strongly recommends that the Best Practice Guide on the conduct and award of
Grant-in-Aid/scholarship jointly prepared by the Anti-Corruption Commission and the
Ministry of Education in 2003 be strictly adhered to. (See Appendix II).             Further,
independent monitoring officers from the ACC and other watch dog agencies must
participate as observers in the awarding process and must be privy to the recommended
awardees immediately after the interviews.


5.3    SUBVENTION ALLOCATION TO TERTIARY INSTITUTIONS:
ACC recommends that a policy document be prepared which should clearly spell out the
extent of financial commitment of the Ministry to tertiary institutions, the use of
subventions and reporting mechanisms for transparency and accountability purposes.


5.4    BACKLOG SALARY PAYMENT TO TEACHERS:
In order to stop backlog payments of teachers’ salaries, newly recruited teachers should wait
until they receive appointment letters from the Ministry of Education. The date of
appointment marks the official payment date.


Education Secretaries should expedite the processing and forwarding of teachers ED forms
and this should be time bound. The bureaucracy in the process of approving teachers ED
forms be removed.


In order to avoid unclaimed salaries not accounted for, the Ministry of Education in
partnership with the Ministry of Finance must ensure prompt deletion of names of
teachers who retire, die or transfer to other schools from the school’s salary vouchers.


5.5    BUDGET PROCESS:
ACC recommends that approved budgets be communicated to all heads of units so as to
give them fair knowledge on their allocations. Budget allocation must be rule based instead
of discretionary which has the tendency of bias against some units.




                                                                                           20
5.6    FINANCIAL REPORTING:
All financial information about the activities of the Ministry be communicated to all unit
heads on regular basis.


5.7    PROCUREMENT MANAGEMENT:
The Ministry of Education should address the constraints of the procurement unit to
ensure its effective functioning. It is also recommended that the unit puts in place a
contract monitoring system and verification of goods procured to ascertain their rightful
specifications before they are taken on charge to ensure value for money.


5.8    STORES MANAGEMENT:
The ACC recommends the following best practices:
             To ensure the Ministry has an adequate supply of goods and to deter
             stockpiling of surplus or useless items resulting from uncontrolled purchases,
             it should make known its stock control policy to the staff responsible for
             stores management, specifying the following rules
             The type of items for stocking- procured items should be classified into
             relevant categories such as inventory and non-inventory items
             The desirable stock level- The stock level for different items should take into
             account the lead time for re-order and the consumption rate. They should
             include:
             Safety level
             Re-order level
             Maximum level
             The requirement to keep accurate and up-to-date inventory records, by way of
             a manual or computer system
             The keeping of accurate and up-to-date records of stock is important in
             stores management. The records should include the following details:
             The store code and description of each category of goods;
             The quantity and location of items within the store;




                                                                                          21
   The date, quantity, voucher reference and the names of handling staff of
    each transaction;
   The stock balance at the time; and
   The expiry or validity date (if any) of each batch of stock.
    In handling store transactions, ACC recommended the following measures
    to ensure proper handling and recording of store transactions:
   Check, count and label the goods received
   Check and verify approval authorities before issue of store items
   Maintain stock balance and location records
   Conduct       periodic   stock   taking   and   report    any   discrepancy     or
    damage/obsolete goods
   Ensure the security of stock in store.
   Job rotation could help reduce the risk of corrupt collusion among
    unscrupulous staff in the manipulation of stock. A policy on staff rotation
    should be formulated and made known to the staff. Staff members assigned
    stock keeping duties should be rotated from time-to-time as far as practicable.
    Upon the transfer of staff, there should be a proper handover procedure
    requiring both staff members concerned to verify the stock as shown in the
    ledgers against the actual stock in store. If it is not feasible to check each and
    every store item, the incoming staff member, could randomly select the stock
    of various category of goods particularly high value ones for verification. On
    completion of the verification check, both staff members should sign the
    records to confirm the hand over.
   In receiving goods in the store, measures should be taken to ensure the staff
    responsible accepts only goods of the specified quantity and condition at the
    time of order. This include:
   Where practicable, goods should be received by at least two officers who
    should inspect the quantity and quality of the goods before acknowledgment
    of receipt.
   In controlling the issues of stores, the following measures should be taken :




                                                                                   22
             All goods issued should be supported by properly approved delivery
             vouchers. The recipient of goods should be required to acknowledge receipt
             on the delivery vouchers, which are later, sent to the accounting department
             for records.
             Stock items should be issued on a ‘’first-in- first-out’’ basis particularly those,
             which have limited shelf life.
             Supervisory officers not directly involved in stores management (such as
             officers of the    , accounting department) should carry out surprise physical
             stock checks at specified intervals.
             The disposal of stock items should follow well-defined procedures including
             a process of inspection, certification and agreement on the method of
             disposal.


5.9     ASSETS MANAGEMENT:
A policy on asset management must be developed which should include the opening of an
Asset Register and the identification of assets as public property and set aside from
unauthorised use.
Further, periodic physical inspections be carried out on all the Ministry’s assets to verify
their existence, condition, location and use.


5.1.0   TEACHING AND LEARNING MATERIALS:
ACC recommends that a policy guideline on the distribution and utilization of teaching
and learning materials be developed. This will also include NGO coordination in this area.
Furthermore, proper storage facilities should be provided to ensure the safety and security
of these materials. Again, a monitoring mechanism should be put in place to prevent these
materials from finding their way into the parallel (black) market.
The procured teaching and learning materials must be verified by the National Public
Procurement Authority to ensure quality and value for money before distribution to
schools.




                                                                                              23
5.1.1   HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT AND ADMINISTRATION:
ACC recommends that, the Ministry continues to do staff verification exercises from time
to time.


All employees must have appointment letters from the HRMO before their names are
posted on the vouchers and allocated pin codes. In this case, therefore, the status of the
staff members affected by the above finding should be regularized.


Since the Ministry has no policy on Human Resource Management and Appraisal System
for their staff members it is recommended that a policy document is developed on Human
Resource Management and to have an Appraisal System in place.


 5.1.2 TEACHER RECRUITMENT:

All newly appointed teachers should commence teaching only when their ED forms have
been approved by the Ministry and that the Ministry should facilitate the speedy approval
of teachers’ appointment. Moreover, the recruitment of teachers should be decentralized at
district level to ease the burden on people coming from the provinces.


5.1.3 GHOST TEACHERS:
ACC strongly recommends that the names of all transferred teachers should be
automatically reflected in the salary vouchers of their new schools. The attention of head
teachers and principals of schools should be drawn to the exclusion clause at the back of
the salary vouchers that they are responsible to pay only teachers they supervise and are
liable for any name in the voucher who is not a genuine teacher.


A proper system should be put in place to reduce the response time between notification of
the Ministry of Education and effecting the necessary changes in the salary vouchers at the
Accountant General’s Department.


Further, we recommend that the Ministry of Education liaise with the Ministry of Finance
to change the names of female teachers whose civil status have changed.


                                                                                        24
5.1.4   EXTENSION SCHOOLS:
The Ministry of Education must look into the establishment of the extension schools. In
the event where these schools meet all government regulations and are believed to have
been approved by the Ministry, such schools therefore, must have their own salary
vouchers.


5.1.5   SCHOOL MANAGEMENT COMMITTEES:
ACC strongly recommends that all primary schools must have an SMC and the Ministry
should develop a comprehensive data of the SMCs and make it available to all schools and
other authorities. SMCs must be trained on their roles and responsibilities and should
exercise a strong voice in demanding accountability and transparency and ensuring the
performance of the education system.


5.1.6   TEACHER CODE OF CONDUCT:
The Ministry in collaboration with the Sierra Leone Teachers Union and other
stakeholders develop codes of conduct for teachers. With regards teachers’ behaviour in
terms of corrupt practices and other professional misconduct, we also recommend the
creation of hotlines to receive complaint and also a Teacher Commission responsible for
investigating the behaviour of teachers and other related matters.


ACC further recommends that a Teachers service Commission be set up as a matter of
priority. The MEST and GOSL should seek external technical assistance in designing and
setting up of this body. The Local Council should be consulted through out the process of
building this organisation. This Commission will help in the development of the teaching
profession.


5.1.7   TEACHER STUDY LEAVE:
ACC recommends that the Ministry of Education critically study the problem of study
leave for teachers with a view to regularising the procedure in consultation with head
teachers and principals of schools.




                                                                                      25
5.1.8   ILLEGAL CHARGES:
ACC strongly recommends that sanctions be levied on teachers/lecturers who demand
unreasonable charges from pupils and students. In the event where such charges are to be
made, the head teacher with the consent of the SMCs, CTA should take the necessary
decision approved by the Ministry of Education. The Ministry should at the same time
continue its sensitisation drive in collaboration with Civil Society Groups.


5.1.9   FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT:
In any financial transaction, it is mandatory for the Ministry to apply the provisions of the
Government Budgeting and Accountability Act 2005 and also financial management
regulations which are the regulatory instruments for public financial management. It was
observed that the Ministry hardly uses these instruments and as such, most of the financial
procedures are violated.


5.2.0   STRATEGIC POLICY AND PLANNING:
A policy unit is set up within the planning directorate headed by persons with relevant
tertiary degrees and suitably qualified researchers. This unit will guide the Ministry in
developing policies.


The Ministry should establish adequate Management Information Systems to track the use
of resources and progress against plans and Internal Review System to address changing
priorities.


5.2.1   CHANGE MANAGEMENT:
ACC recommends that the Ministry develops change management strategy to ensure that
the Ministry’s legal and institutional structures are aligned with new systems and support
reform process.


5.2.2   RECORDS MANAGEMENT:
An administrative framework must be in place to ensure that records management
program function efficiently, effectively and consistently. The framework should consist of


                                                                                          26
clear reporting lines and area of responsibility, an adequate budget and provide records
management training for staff. All records management staff must also have job
descriptions.


Also appropriate storage facilities must be put in place for effective records management.
Adequate shelving and storage containers must be available to meet current and projected
need. The physical preservation of records must be ensured to guarantee transparency and
accountability. A complete records management programme should be developed to
include disaster recovery plan designed to respond to any disaster that would prevent the
Ministry from functioning.


Since the Ministry operates obsolete or collapsed paper-based system for keeping records,
which results to records being disorganized, incomplete or difficult to access, ACC
recommends that the Ministry puts in place a computerized system at the Records Section
since computerization is expected to bring large productivity gains with greater
transparency and accountability.


Records management in schools is also poor. This has distorted audit trails and as a result,
it has been very difficult to ascertain transparency and accountability in the management of
school funds.


All head teachers and principals must open, maintain and update personal files for each
member of staff in their schools. The inspector of schools should conduct regular checks to
ensure compliance. Master timetables must also reflect the names of teachers in their
subject areas.


The Ministry empower the inspectorate division to ensure that schools make the maximum
use of the Records Management Manual produced by ACC.




                                                                                         27
5.2.3   INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL AUDITING:
The Ministry must provide training for the staff of the internal audit unit or at best recruit
qualified auditors.


ACC strongly recommends that, managers and employees at all times demonstrate positive
attitude in implementing internal controls instituted by both the internal and external
auditors and managers through leadership and communication, foster an organizational
environment that is conducive to achieving strong internal controls.


As a generally accepted auditing practice, Internal Auditors have the responsibility to
review the appropriateness and effectiveness of internal controls when they carry out an
audit. They can help management by providing professional and independent opinion and
recommendations with respect to the state of the Internal Control Systems.


The Internal Audit Unit must carry out effective monitoring of internal control measure to
ensure full compliance and report to management on compliance level at all times.


The Internal Audit Unit must carryout random pre-audit on all budgets for activities in the
Ministry before approval is given by the Vote Controller in order to ensure value for
money and put officers on their guard.


5.2.4   PROJECT AND FOREIGN AID MANAGEMENT:
All the projects accountants must provide information on the financial performance of
projects activity on a quarterly basis to the principal accountant who in turn will report on
such performance to the Vote Controller of the Ministry and the Ministry of Finance.
ACC recommends that there should be a consultative mechanism with members of the
community whenever projects are to be implemented in that community. A copy of the
Bill of Quantity for the project must be made available the councils and the Ward
Committees. This will help the Councils and the Ward Committees in their monitoring
functions.




                                                                                           28
The Ministry should establish an Independent Monitoring and Evaluation Unit which
from time to time will monitor project implementation on behalf of the Ministry,
sometimes in collaboration with Civil Society which is an important supplementary source
of monitoring.


5.2.5   INSPECTORATE DIVISION:
ACC recommends that the Ministry provide adequate logistical support to the Inspectors
of Schools to enable them perform their functions with maximum efficiency and take
appropriate action on their reports and treat them as matters of urgency




                                                                                     29
              Appendix I


  IMPLEMENTATION PLAN MATRIX

No.                   Challenges                             Actions                    Expected Output              Responsible Actor           Timeframe
1            FINANCIAL
             MANAGEMENT                   AND
             REPORTING


             Fees Subsidy
        I.           Lack       of        policy
                                                      Develop policy on fees subsidy   Guidelines on the payment Local Council, Ministry 2 months
             document
                                                                                        and utilization of fees of Education, policy unit,
                                                                                        subsidy                   ACC

                                                  Review school fees subsidy to
       II.             Inadequacy of fees
                                                 reflect the current economic trend          Efficient     school   Decentralization, MEYS, 2months
             subsidy
                                                                                      management           systems   LC
                                                 Institute     vigorous    monitoring achieved
                                                 mechanisms to ensure accountability
      III.             Misuse        of     fees
                                                 and transparency                            Minimize               LC, ACC      and      Civil On-going
             subsidy
                                                                                      corruption                in   Society
                                                                                      education(extra      charges
                                                                                      levied by school heads)
                                                                                      Efficient use of subsidy
                                                                                      achieved
             IV Lack of adequate and      Collect and update school                    Well established database EFMIS,       Inspector     of 3 months
             updated data on school enrolment data at least twice a year                on school enrolment set up Schools.
             enrolment                    Consult EFMIS on school                      Reliable and accurate data
                                     enrolment before data is sent to the               provided



                                                                                                                                                       30
                          Ministry of Finance for payment

                                  Payment to be made at the
                           beginning of each term.               Prompt payment of fees
V Delay in the payment                                           subsidy to prevent illegal Ministry of Finance,         The beginning
of fees subsidies                 Schools to prepare budgets    charges                     Local       Government      of school term
                                                                                             Financing Unit
                                                                 Budgets prepared to reflect
VI school budgets not                                            the pattern of expenditure Head Teachers/Principals     The beginning
prepared                          Traveling         allowances, for proper audit trail                                  of school term
                           reimbursement for teachers be
                           included in developing policy on fees Proper utilization of fees
                           subsidy                               subsidy                     Head Teachers
 VII      Fees     subsidy                                                                                               On-going
sometimes used to cover
traveling expenses



Grant-in-Aid
                                 Strict adherence to Anti-      Transparency            and Minister, Student section   On-going
1 Lapses in the award Corruption Commission(ACC) Best            accountability in the award
procedures of Grant-in- Practice Guide during the process of     of Grant-In-Aid
Aid/scholarship.          the award                              Achieved
Recommendation         of
unqualified candidates
                                 Revision of the power of the                                  Minister, SAAC members
11 Discretionary power minister in the award of grant-in-        Transparency            and                             Immediately
vested in the Minister in aid/scholarships                       objectivity in the selection
the award of grant-in-aid                                        of the required candidates




                                                                                                                               31
subvention allocation to                                       for the award achieved
tertiary institutions


1 No policy document to         Prepare policy document on Clear       guidelines    on Policy Unit, Tech/Voc Immediately
spell out the financial the payment and utilization of subvention developed               unit
commitment      of   the subvention allocation
Ministry     to    these
institutions
                                Set       out      reporting
11 No submission of mechanism                                  Track the judicious use of Tertiary institutions On-going
report on the use of                                          the fund
subvention

 Backlog salary payment to
teachers

1     Delay     in     the        Newly recruited teachers to Minimize complaints on       Head Teachers/Principal   Before       the
recruitment of teachers    wait until appointment letters are backlog payment of salaries                             beginning of the
                           received before commencement of                                                            school year
                           teaching
                                  Matching of academic year                                Decision-makers           Immediate
                           with financial year
                                  Education Secretaries to
                           expedite    the     processing     and                           Education   Secretaries, Immediate
                           forwarding of Teachers ED forms.                                 Headquarter
                           Bureaucracy to be removed
                                  Prompt deletion of names of
                           teachers who retire, die or transfer to




                                                                                                                             32
                              other schools from the salary voucher                             Payroll section MEYS, On-going
                                                                                                Accountant-General
    Budget process
                                Communication             to   all Flow      of       financial Principal Accountant    On-going
    No communication of heads on budget allocation                  information for planning
    budget approval

2   PROCUREMENT
    MANAGEMENT

    Procurement Unit

    1 Inadequate logistical           Timely      provision     of Efficient functioning of the Procurement Committee,
    supplies for effective adequate and appropriate logistics       unit                         PU                     Immediate
    monitoring        and             Design              contract
    supervision             monitoring        mechanism        and
                            verification of goods supplied.



                                       Institute stock control
                              policy taken into consideration the
    Stores Management         Best practices in the main text under Proper    management    of Policy Unit, Store keeper,
                              stores management                     stores.                    Internal Auditor           Immediate
                                       Job rotation of staff in
     No proper application of stores
    store rules

                                       Develop policy on asset




                                                                                                                                33
                                management
                                         Open Asset Register
                                         Quarterly Inspection of
    Assets Management           assets to assess the existence,                                 Policy Unit, Accounts
                                condition and use                 Proper use of Assets          Office, Internal Auditor   Immediate

    No policy document

                                           Develop policy on the
                                 distribution and utilization of
    Teaching    and     Learning teaching and learning materials
    Materials
                                                                                               Policy unit,       NGOs,
    1 No policy document                 Coordination between the Proper       utilization of Local Council               Immediate
                                Ministry and NGOs to ensure teaching            and Learning
                                equitable distribution of school material
                                materials


    11        No       proper                                       Equitable       distribution NGOs, Local Council
    coordination between the                                        ensured                                                On-going
    Ministry and Non –
    Governmental
    Organizations (NGOs) in
    terms of supply of school
    materials

3   HUMAN RESOURCE
    MANAGEMENT AND




                                                                                                                                 34
ADMINISTRATION

Staffing
                             Develop personnel policy and     Career and development of Human Resources Dept, Immediate
1 Absence of a specific make known to all staff members        officers can be enhanced  Policy Unit
personnel policy for the
Ministry
                             Develop appraisal system         Effectiveness and efficiency
11 No Appraisal System                                         of staff enhanced            Headquarter,   Regional Immediate
                                                                                            offices


Teacher Recruitment
                                                               Proper records keeping.
1 Teachers commence         Newly appointed teachers to
teaching when ED forms commence teaching only when their                                    Head teachers, Principals, Immediate
not yet approved       ED forms are approved                                                Inspector of Schools

                                                        Delay   in            recruitment
11 Cumbersome teacher        To decentralize teachers’ removed
recruitment           recruitment at district level

                                                              Correct salaries are paid to
111 Transfer of teachers         Transfer of teachers should teachers in the current
effected between schools be automatically reflected in the school
without any reflection in salary voucher                                                                              On-going
the salary voucher                                                                         Headteachers/Principals

1V Change in the status         Ministry to liaise with the




                                                                                                                             35
of female teachers hardly Ministry of finance to change the Enhanced transparency
reflect in the salary names of female teachers whose
voucher                   status have changed.
                                                                                            LGFD, MOF                 On-going
                          Headteachers/principals
V Problems of upgrading to open, maintain personnel files of Teacher personnel file
teacher personnel files each member of staff in their schools developed
regularly
                          The Ministry to look into the                                    Headteachers/Principal    Immediate
V1 Opening of feeder establishment of feeder schools
schools    without   the                                      Prevention of ghost schools
approval of the Ministry                                      and ghost teachers            MEYS
of Education                     Proper system should be put
                         in place in upgrading teachers’                                                              Immediate
VI1 Inconsistencies and salaries                              Staff motivation
delay in upgrading the                                                                      MEYS
salaries   of    genuine
schools                          All primary schools must
                         create       School      Management                                                          Immediate
VII1 No proper role of Committees                             Proper     monitoring    of
School       Management          Develop a comprehensive school administration             All primary schools and
Committees(SMCs)         role of the SMCs                                                   MEYS

                             Develop teachers’ code of                                                   Immediately
                       conduct
1X No code of conducts       Creation of a hotline to Teacher codes of conduct
for teachers           receive complaint on teachers made available
                       behaviour                                                  Appropriate authorities
                                                        Teacher codes enforcement in the Ministry




                                                                                                                            36
                         Set up Teacher Service Commission mechanism set in place                                                     Immediately
                         (TSC)
    X No Teacher Service                                   Effective management of
    Commission                                             teachers
                                                                                                        MYES        and       Local
                                                                                                        Councils
                                        To critically study       the                                                                Immediately
                                 problems of study leave          and
    Study Leave                  regularize the procedure                Procedures on study leave
    Policy      not   strictly                                           reviewed
    followed                                                                                            Tertiary Section of the
                                                                                                        Ministry                Immediately
                                        To          sensitize/educate
                                 stakeholders on illegal charges and
                                 apply sanction where necessary
    Illegal Charges                                                      Illegal charges considerably
                                                                         minimized
    Demand of illegal charges                                                                           MEYS, Civil Society
    in school                                                                                                                         On-going

    Regulatory Instruments
     The Ministry hardly
    apply          Government        Ministry should enforce the Improved service delivery             Ministry officials            On-going
    regulatory instruments    use of these instruments


4   STRATEGIC POLICY
    AND PLANNING




                                                                                                                                            37
    Policy Formulation

    1 No effective       policy     Set up policy Unit             Policies on service delivery Planning division,         Immediate
    making                                                          enhanced

    Change Management

     No change management        Develop change management New and upgrading systems Planning division                     On-going
    strategies            strategies.                       implemented

5   RECORDS
    MANAGEMENT

    I poor records keeping            Administrative framework be Proper     Audit        trail Record section, accounts   Immediate
                               put in place records keeping        maintained                    Unit

                                     Provision of storage facilities                           Appropriate authorities
    2 Poor storage facilities in schools                              School materials properly                             Immediate
                                                                      secured
    3 Obsolete and or               To put in place computerized                               EFMIS, Minister
    collapsed paper –based system at record section                   Productivity gains with                               Immediate
    system of keeping records                                         greater transparency and
    at the records section                                            accountability

6   INTERNAL      AND
    EXTERNAL AUDITING

    1 Staff do not have the         Provide training to staff      Good and proper auditing     Appropriate authorities    To           be
    requisite knowledge to                                                                                                  determined




                                                                                                                                  38
    carry out effective audit

    2 No positive and                                           Effective implementation of
    supportive attitude of          Managers to demonstrate internal control measures      Managers                  On-going
    managers toward internal positive attitude towards internal
    control measures         control measure

    3       No       effective                                   Compliance ensured
    monitoring of internal
    controls                        Audit Unit to carry out                                 Internal Audit Unit      On-going
                               monitoring on instituted internal
    4 No budget scrutiny by controls
    Internal Audit Unit                                          Value for money ensured

                                      Audit Unit to conduct pre-                            Internal Audit Unit      On-going
                                audit on all programmes before
                                approval
6   PROJECT AND
    FOREIGN AID
    MANAGEMENT

    1     No       relationship         Project accountant to provide Communication flow on Project        accountants, Immediate and
    between      the     project financial information to the principal financial performance principal accountant       On-going
    accountants             and accountant
    principal accountant on
    financial reporting
                                        Members of community
    2 No involvement of involvement                   in        project Proper monitoring of Community members           On-going
    communities in project implementation                               service delivery




                                                                                                                             39
    implementation
                                   Establish        independent
    3   Lack    of     proper Monitoring and Evaluation Unit     Good service delivery           Appropriate authorities    Immediate
    monitoring of projects




7   INSPECTORATE
    DIVISION

    1 logistical constraint         Provide adequate logistics to Proper monitoring      and The                appropriate Immediate
                              Inspector of Schools                 supervision                authorities

    2 No appropriate action       To treat the reports from the Implementation of reports       School administrators      On-going
    on reports.             Inspector of Schools with a matter
                            of urgency
8   MAINTENANCE

    1 lack of maintenance           Maintenance culture and Healthy        and          clean   Cleaners,   Maintenance On-going
    and poor sanitation   proper hygiene to be maintained       environment                      Unit
                                    Auxiliary staff members to
                          be regularly supervised                                                Staff members              On-going




                                                                                                                                   40
Appendix II
BEST PRACTICE FOR THE AWARD OF GRANTS-IN-AID (UPDATED)
BACKGROUND
Following the observations made by the Commission on the conduct and award of the
Sierra Leone Government Grants-in-aid, the Anti-Corruption Commission and the
Ministry of Education considered it necessary for a review of some key policy issues relating
to the conduct of the awards with a view to fine-tuning them. This is in consonance with
section 7 (1) (a) and (7) (2)_(f) and (g) of the Anti-Corruption Act 2008 which states that
without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1), it shall be the function of the
Commission-


(a)    “to take all steps as may be necessary for the prevention, eradication or suppression
of corruption and corruption practices;”


In pursuance of this provision by the Systems and Process Review Department of the
Commission, series of consultations were held with the Directorate of Higher Education,
Science and Technology and members of the Scholarships Award Advisory Committee
(SAAC). The Commission and other stakeholders put a number of recommendations
forward and the following, agreed upon and endorsed by the Minister of Education.


RECOMMENDATIONS
1.     For compliance, the Assistant Director, Students, must circulate realistic deadlines
for the submission of all grades to the respective colleges. Such a deadline must take effect
two weeks before the commencement of the interviews.


2.     In the event a college fails to meet the stated deadline for the submission of grades,
the Registrar of the college shall be made to answer in writing to the Assistant Director,
Students.




                                                                                          41
3.     The Minister, based on the recommendations of the statutory body set up by him
known as the Scholarships Award Advisory Committee (SAAC), shall make awards to
students.


4.     In the past, final decisions for the award were taken at the end of the overall
interviewing process.    Whilst this process has its merits, we are of the opinion that
decisions should be taken for each category of allocation as the interview progresses. At
FBC for example, decisions should be taken once interview for a particular faculty is
completed. In Teacher Colleges, decisions for B.Ed, HTC & TC candidates should be
taken at the end of every category.


5.     The SAAC is the statutory body for the conduct of the Sierra Leone Government
Grants-In-Aid and should therefore have the responsibility for the conduct, compilation of
the outcome of the interviewing process and presentation of the same to the Minister of
Education for his consideration.


The Assistant Director Students, who is a member of the committee, shall be responsible
for the compilation of the names of recommended candidates as the interview progresses.
The Scholarships Award Advisory Committee shall then verify and endorse the
recommended list of candidates so prepared by the Assistant Director Students for onward
presentation to the Minister.


6.     Within two weeks after the conclusion of the interview process, the Chairman of
the SAAC with other members of the Committee shall present the result of the interview
to the Minister for his consideration and subsequent publication. Thereafter, the Students
Section of the Ministry shall keep the list of such publication for ease of reference.


7.     All documents relating to short-listed as well as awarded candidates must be kept by
the Ministry for a minimum of one academic year before disposal or otherwise.




                                                                                         42
8.     All applicants in employment are expected to send their applications through their
employing authorities. This will help in the short listing of candidates for the interview
process. In addition, the representative of the Directorate of Training and Recruitment at
the interviews shall endeavour to present a list of all public sector workers on study leave
with pay.


9.     The Ministry of Education shall endeavour to abide by its allocation of awards to
the various colleges. Where modifications are made to the number of planned figures for
each college, faculty etc, this shall be spelt out clearly in a memorandum to the Chairmen
of the various Scholarships Award Advisory Committees in the Western Area and in the
Provinces.


10.    Since it is a policy that students on study leave with pay and other awards are not
eligible for the Sierra Leone Government grants-in-aid, the Students Section shall during
the short listing of candidates and or after the interview process, request for the list of
students on study leave with pay and other awards, with a view to crosschecking and
weeding out these names before and after the interviews.


With respect to the other awards, the Lebanese Community, City Council of Churches in
Sierra Leone and other awarding bodies shall be contacted for a comprehensive list of their
awardees for crosschecking.


11.    Approved names of students for the grants-in-aid are forwarded with claims from
the colleges to the Principal Accountant of the Ministry for the preparation of vouchers.
The Finance Officers of the respective colleges shall then undertake the disbursement of
such funds within 2 (two) weeks of the receipt of such funds. Returns made on vouchers
must be lodged with the Audit Unit of the Ministry for ease of reference. On no account
shall payment be made on hand written vouchers.




                                                                                         43
12.     A ledger bearing the names of candidates and dates of submission of all application
forms shall be kept by the students Section with the approval of the Assistant Director
Students for the attention of the SAAC before the commencement of the interviews. Late
submission of application forms renders the selection process faulty.


13.     Except otherwise recommended by the Minister in writing to the SAAC, students
shall not benefit from the award if they do not fulfill the following criteria.


                       He/She fails to apply
                       Sends a late application
                       Is not short listed
                       Is not interviewed by the SAAC


14.     No candidate shall apply for the grants-in-aid or any other award in more than one
region in the country. This should be underscored at the time of the advertisement for the
submission of applications. Any defaulting candidate shall be disqualified for the awards.


15.     Repayment of bonds in the form of service to the Government of Sierra Leone
must be signed by all holders of the award and shall be enforceable where necessary.
Candidates are expected to serve the Government of Sierra Leone for at least 2 (two) years
in their District of origin after graduation.


16.     The process for the award of the grants-in-aid and other awards is challenging and
demands high integrity from officers handling it. The Assistant Director Students shall
therefore play a supervisory role in monitoring the activities of the rest of the other
personnel involved in the process.


17.     For efficiency, the constitution of members of the SAAC must be reconsidered by
the Minister with a view to weeding out members who have not been functional and are
having busy work schedule in their places of work.


                                                                                         44
18.     Members of the SAAC appointed by the Minister shall be given their terms of
reference, stating clearly their role and limitations of their duties as well as their
emoluments.


19.     The overall responsibility for education in the country is the statutory responsibility
of the Ministry of Educationy as contained in the Sierra Leone Gazette Vol. CXXX111,
No. 47. Therefore, the Ministry shall be responsible for the conduct of the award of all
scholarships sent by way of notification to all Ministries with special emphasis to the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Development and Economic Planning and Agriculture.


The Minister of Education shall make every effort to prepare an Information
Memorandum for cabinet to effect this policy.


20.     There shall be a Complaints Units in the Ministry of Education to address all
grievances of the public against the Ministry including complaints emanating from the
conduct of the grants-in-aid and other academic awards. A senior officer appointed to
address the various problems reported to it shall head such a unit. The modalities for the
setting up of this unit shall be the responsibility of the Minister.




                                                                                            45

								
To top