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CSOs Call for Transparency in the Wake of the Auditor General Tribunal

Several Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) have united in a call for increased transparency following the conclusion of the tribunal tasked with investigating Auditor General Lara Taylor-Pearce and her deputy, Tamba Momoh, on allegations of 'professional misconduct.'

The tribunal, convened to address accusations of 'breach of confidentiality and professional misconduct,' recently concluded its inquiry. On June 12, 2024, the Tribunal's Report was formally submitted to the President, in accordance with Section 137(5)(b) of the Constitution. The charges primarily revolved around the Auditor General's alleged unauthorized contacts with external entities during a compliance audit of the Office of the President. Specifically, it was investigated whether Mrs. Taylor-Pearce and Mr. Momoh engaged with hotels in Lebanon, South Africa, and The Gambia to validate submitted receipts without proper authorization from the Office of the President.

Despite the tribunal's findings, there has been a notable lack of communication to the general public regarding the subsequent course of action. CSOs emphasize that due to the public interest surrounding the investigation, fundamental principles of natural justice dictate that the outcomes must be shared with Mrs. Taylor-Pearce, Mr. Momoh, and the populace. This dissemination of information is crucial for upholding transparency, accountability, and the credibility of the investigative process.

In a joint plea, the organizations urgently request the tribunal to promptly disclose the contents of the report to both Mrs. Taylor-Pearce and Mr. Momoh, as well as make the findings accessible to the public. This openness is vital to ensure the fairness of the proceedings and to address growing concerns about the tribunal's operations. 

These concerns have been collectively voiced by the Budget Advocacy Network (BAN), comprising a consortium of local and international bodies, the 50/50 Group Sierra Leone—an advocate for gender equality and political engagement of women in Sierra Leone—The Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ), an umbrella organization safeguarding free speech and media freedom, and ILRAJ, an impartial public policy research and educational think tank dedicated to promoting human rights and the rule of law.


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