The Minister of Finance Dennis K. Vandi has in two separate meetings assured the New European Union Ambassador and British High Commissioner to Sierra Leone of the commitment of the Government of Sierra Leone to Public Financial Management reforms to enhance transparency and accountability in the public sector.
These back-to-back meetings with the two diplomats took place at the Minister’s George Street office on Thursday 16th September 2021.
In her statement the British High Commissioner to Sierra Leone Lisa Chesney MBE thanked the Minister of Finance and team for the meeting, stating that Sierra Leone is doing very well on the world stage on education and other policies decisions and reforms.
She commended the government for allocating 21% of its national budget to education.
High commissioner Chesney spoke of other areas of interest and intervention like Election Funding, Healthcare, the budget process, water, economic transformation with the private sector at the center, and climate change.
The European Union Ambassador Manuel Alexander Muller also, in his opening remarks stated that the European Union has been a long-standing partner to Sierra Leone over the years, adding that meetings of such nature will deepen understanding and cooperation between the Government of Sierra Leone and its partners.
Ambassador Muller furthered that they acknowledge government efforts in public financial management reforms and that the Ministry of Finance is critical because of its role in the budget process from development to execution.
“These roles with good reforms can be very useful in the fight corruption,” he said.
In both meetings, the Financial Secretary Sahr Lahai Jusu informed the Ambassadors that the government is currently undertaking lots of reforms to improve transparency and accountability including supporting the fight against corruption.
He continued that, discussions around PFM reforms are happening at the highest level of the presidency as well as trying to open up the platforms to Governance and Accountability Civil Society Organisation.
In the area of audit recommendations, the Financial Secretary stated that government is not only trying to implement them but also will put out a report on the progress of the implementation for partners and the general public to know.
He calls on partners to support these reforms including strengthening the PFM Act 2016 and automating procurement and financial transactions in the public sector.
Minister of Finance Dennis K. Vandi thanked both ambassadors for their support over the years and also assured them of the government to not only improve public financial management but to also continue to allocate more resources to pro-poor projects, human capital development, and the fight against COVID-19.