Transparency and Accountability during COVID-19 Outbreak in Sierra Leone
The COVID-19 Transparency and Accountability Project (CTAP) has provided an assessment of the COVID-19 experience within Sierra Leone and identified important elements that touch on Transparency. Accountability, and Governance in general. Sierra Leone emerged from the Ebola Pandemic of 2014-2016 with a fragile health system (despite legal and policy frameworks put in place to handle the fallout of the pandemic) which had to cater to existing vulnerable groups (People Living with HIV, for example), of which COVID-19 would add to.
However, this crisis did not result in greater transparency or accountability but on the contrary may have created an opportunity for managers of public funds to exploit the urgent nature of the pandemic, through opaque processes resulting in graft. On a positive note, the Audit Service Sierra Leone (ASSL) carried out an extensive audit of the management of COVID-19 funds, by the National COVID-19 Emergency Response Centre (NaCOVERC) and several other government ministries, departments, and agencies. The audit revealed serious cases of mismanagement, noncompliance, and corruption.