The Ministry of Finance is the key arm of the Government of Sierra Leone mandated to formulate and implement sound economic policies and engage in public financial management to ensure efficient allocation of public resources in order to promote economic growth and foster national development. A senior economist at the Fiscal Decentralization Division in the Ministry of Finance, Sallieu Kamara in an interview with AYV, outlined the sector policy guideline on past and current indicators for the FY 2020 inter-governmental fiscal transfer system.
According to Mr. Kamara, the seminar brought together officials from the Ministry of Finance, MDAs and local councils to review and discuss the formula and variables that would be used by all local government councils to allocate grants for FY 2020 so that the system would be fair. He added that the seminar is an opportunity for local council stakeholders to present their respective cases and explain why they want the amount of grant they are requiring among other explanations.
He added that this has been the practice since the development of the inter-governmental fiscal transfer system when the decentralization process was reintroduced in 2004 and is now become an annual event.
The first and second phase of the seminar consisted of various representations on different sectors aimed and highlighting the indicators and weights which constitute the formula for allocating devolved grants for the different sectors in their respective lines.
According to the Director of Agricultural Extension in the Ministry of Agriculture and forestry, Aiah Thorlie, the grant distribution formula has been helping the ministry in getting the amount needed to do agricultural work. He however expressed his disappointment over the slow pace of paying these grants.